A DOG walker was saved by one of her loyal four-legged friends after she was grabbed by a man during a distressing attack.

The victim, a woman in her 40s, was walking her dogs in woodland near near the junction of Baird Road and Princess Marina Drive in Arborfield.

At around 5.30am on Sunday (June 3) she was approached from behind, as she was opposite St Elgius Church.

The offender grabbed her, but she fought back and the man was bitten by one of the dogs.

A police spokesman said: "Both the victim and the offender then ran away. Nothing was stolen during the incident.

"The victim sustained scratches to her chest during the assault."

Investigating officers have released an E-Fit image to push forward their search for the man responsible.

Additional patrols will be carried out in the area and police are keeping an 'open mind' about the reason for this unprovoked attack.

Police believe he is white, between 5ft 8ins and 5ft 10ins, of slim build and approximately 30 years old.

He was clean shaven and is described as being Eastern European.

He was wearing a navy or black hooded top with matching tracksuit trousers, a black woollen scarf around his neck and lower half of his face, dark coloured trainers and dark gloves.

Detective sergeant Nathan Lampard, of Reading Force CID, said: “Detectives are investigating this incident and are keeping an open mind in relation to the motive.

“I am appealing for information from the public, specifically to any dog walkers who may recognise the description or E-Fit image of the offender as he may have been in the area on previous occasions.

“Are you aware of anybody with unexplained dog bites? Please report any information, regardless of how insignificant you think it may be, to police.

“People in the community may notice uniformed police officers in the local area in the next few days appealing for witnesses and working to locate the offender.

“Anyone who has any information, or recognises the man in the e-fit image, can approach and speak to an officer or call 101.”

If you have any information relating to this case, call 101 quoting reference '43180167220', or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.