Police are hunting a man who attacked and raped an elderly woman in her home in south London.

The assault happened after the victim, who is in her 70s, noticed a man at the entrance to her property in Purley and then opened the door.

He used his foot to keep the door open before he entered the home at about 7.50am on Wednesday 11 May.

The man then assaulted her, causing bruising to her face, before he carried out the rape, said the Metropolitan Police.

Officers were alerted by the victim after her attacker left.

Detectives from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command have now begun an investigation.

The victim has described the suspect as a white man, about 5ft 8in tall, with short brown hair.

He spoke with what was possibly a Scottish accent and had a tattoo or a mark on his neck, and a tattoo on the left side of his chest, which was described as circular.

Detective Inspector Keith Ward said: “Specially trained detectives have been deployed and are supporting the woman whilst she continues to bravely provide the investigation with vital information that could help identify and arrest this man as soon as possible.

“Detectives are working around the clock and are carrying out door-to-door enquiries, gathering CCTV and speaking to anyone who was in the area at the time, to see if they saw or heard anything suspicious.

“We are totally alive to the fact that an incident like this will cause alarm to people living in the area, and I would like to provide as much reassurance as I can that detectives are doing everything we can to arrest the suspect.

“We ask that anyone who recognises the suspect’s description contact us as a matter of urgency.

“For anyone worried about doing this, I would reassure them that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and there are ways and means that innocent people put to us can be eliminated from our enquiries.”