Greater Manchester police have appealed for information after a 90-year-old woman was dragged off the street as she walked to her local shop in Rochdale and raped.
The victim felt a hand go over her mouth before she was hauled backwards in Spotland Road at about 6.45am on Tuesday, police said.
The woman then lost consciousness and awoke on the floor. She had been raped. She then walked to the butchers and raised the alarm, police said.
She was wearing a floral white summer dress with a flower print and a cardigan.
Greater Manchester Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen the victim, and potentially the offender. Due to the nature of the attack, the only description of him is that he was white.
Superintendent Alistair Mallen said the pensioner had been through “a horrific ordeal” and police are hoping she can make a full recovery.
"I am sure the entire community will share our revulsion at this,” Supt Mallen said.
“She is now being supported by experienced officers and we are doing everything possible to reassure her that we will catch the man responsible.
"This kind of attack is thankfully so rare that it will naturally cause a huge amount of concern in the community.
"I now want people, including the criminal fraternity, to imagine if that had been your mum or grandma. I want to harness these feelings and use them to help the police do their job - catch this man and put him before the courts.
"It may not have struck you as significant at the time, but please, if you saw anything or anyone that you think could be relevant then please call the police."
Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, said there was "a real sense of shock and horror" in the community over the attack.
He said: "Local people are struggling to comprehend how anyone could do this. Our heart goes out to this poor woman. She must have gone through hell.
"There is a real sense of shock and horror in the community and the police need to do everything possible to catch this sick individual. But they need the help of the community and people must stand up and be counted.
"Someone somewhere will know something that can help the police and I would urge them to search their conscience and come forward to pass that information on."
Anyone with information should call police in Rochdale on 0161 856 8470/8420 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.