A WOMAN has been has been attacked from behind while walking along St Helen's Road in Daubhill this afternoon.

The attack happened in near the Derian House Hospice shop just before 1pm today.

The woman, in her 50s, was said to be suffering from shock, but was not seriously injured.

Police said there was nothing to link the attack to the robbery spree that took place in and around Deane Church Lane over the last few days.

The victim chased the man, who did not steal anything. She was taken to hospital "as a precaution".

The attack follows robberies at nearby KC Top Shop newsagents in Deane Church Lane, Deane, robberies at Talking Heads in Deane and at Cabello for Hair in Wigan Road in the past week.

Two street robberies have also taken place in the area, one in the early morning on Thursday and one on Saturday evening.

A Deane Church Lane resident, who did not want to be identified, said: “It has been absolutely terrifying. I hope the police get him. I heard another robbery had taken place at the hospice shop where a woman was knocked over.”

A 32-year-old woman said: “Businesses have been locking their doors because they have been worried they will be next. It’s a close community and to think it could be local people doing this is terrible.”

A 33-year-old man was arrested in Deane Church Lane on suspicion of the five robberies on Wednesday but has been bailed while police investigate.

A police spokesman said the incident was an assault and that no-one has been arrested.

Police are searching for a second suspect in connection with the robberies.

He is said to be gaunt, about 5ft 9ins tall and has been seen wearing a dark hooded top.

Anyone with information about the robberies or with the whereabouts of the man wanted by police call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.