A WOMAN has told how she was forced to fight off a sex attacker on her doorstep.
The 57-year-old mother was attacked as she returned to her Musselburgh home from a night out by a man who pounced on her, repeatedly kissed her and tried to force his hands inside her clothes.
But she was finally able to struggle free and push the attacker away before running to a neighbour’s door for help.
The woman, who cannot be named, said she felt “lucky” to escape the ordeal uninjured, but would now be “wary” about walking alone at night.
Police have appealed for help in tracking down the man, who struck in Mansfield Avenue at around 12.15am on Sunday.
The victim said: “I’d been out with friends from work in George Street. I walked down the road with a friend and she caught her bus and I caught mine back to Musselburgh.
“I got off at the my usual stop at The Mall, near the police station, and walked the short distance to my street.
“I walked down the vennel which leads to the stairs to my flat. I was on the first or second step when suddenly this man grabbed me from behind, spun me round and pushed me back against the railings.
“I was struggling to try and get away from him. It was all a blur because I was so frightened and shocked, but after about two minutes I managed to push him back off me and he ran away.
“I ran upstairs to my neighbour’s flat. I didn’t want to go to mine as I was scared he would follow me.”
The suspect is described as being in his early 20s, 5ft 5in tall with an olive-skinned complexion, slim with short dark hair. He was wearing dark clothing.
The woman added: “I don’t think he’d been following me. The police checked the CCTV and saw me get off the bus, but no-one was coming after me. I live in a quiet residential street so I would have heard footsteps if he was following me.
“The police think he may have been casing out the building to break in, or checking if there was anything to steal in the back garden, and found me there.
“I asked my neighbour afterwards if she heard me scream and she said no. I must’ve been so terrified that I didn’t. I’m not sure that I said anything back to him.
“I do feel lucky because I was uninjured. I’m quite a slight person so he could’ve done more damage.
“I won’t be made a prisoner in my own home but this will definitely make me more wary now. I’ll be looking over my shoulder.”