A VULNERABLE woman in her 60s was sexually assaulted and robbed in York last night.

North Yorkshire Police said a man befriended the woman and lured her to a spot at the back of St Peter's School where he subjected her to a serious sexual and physical assault and stole money from her.

A force spokeswoman said detectives were appealing for information and witnesses to help them in determining the man's identity.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Alan Rowan said: “This was a horrendous attack on a vulnerable woman, who the suspect befriended before luring her to a place where he could attack her.

“I urge anyone who was in the area at the time, to please cast their minds back and contact us if they can provide any assistance to our investigation.

“Unfortunately, the victim has found it difficult to provide any detailed description of the suspect and we appeal to members of the public to help us find her attacker.”

The spokeswoman said the victim was seen with the man at around 7pm near Lendal Bridge.

"She then walked with the man, down the side of the River Ouse in the direction of Scarborough Bridge, passing the Esplanade car park and the Post Office building on her left hand side," she said.

"The victim and the man then crossed over Scarborough Bridge and, once over the bridge, continued walking alongside the river, out of town towards the back of St Peter’s school and Clifton Bridge.

"When they approached the back of St Peter’s School, the man subjected the woman to a serious sexual and physical assault and stole money from her."

She said officers were asking anyone who saw a woman in her 60s with a man in this area of York at about 7pm to phone them on 101, select option 1 and pass the information to the Force Control Room, quoting reference 12180001044, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.