A WOMAN was raped while walking her dog through a village sports field.

The 50-year-old woman told police she was attacked by a man in his twenties, near High Street, Eynsham, at about 9.40pm on Sunday.

Her attacker told his victim he had a knife before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

She managed to push him away and escape before running to a nearby house.

All such attacks are now classified as rape by police.

Extra patrols are now taking place around the village.

Eynsham Parish Council chairman Gordon Beach said last night: “I am very shocked to hear about it.

“I can’t recall ever knowing an event like that taking place in Eynsham. I am very, very surprised. As a parish council, we have a very good working relationship with the local police and the parish council will be supporting them in whatever action they want to do.”

Robin Saunders, owner of Evenlode DIY in High Street, said: “It will make a big difference to the dog walkers who use that field. It is a very popular field to use. You do not expect it to happen in your area.”

His sales assistant Robert Brown said: “It is normally quiet and everyone gets on.

“My wife was thinking of getting a dog to go walking with, but I will have to talk to her.”

The man is described as white, between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall and in his twenties. He was wearing white jeans, a white puffer-style jacket and trainers.

Det Sgt Rob Hughes is appealing for witnesses to the alleged attack.

He said: “We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area last night who may have seen or heard anything.

“The man is thought to have run off in the direction of Station Road after the alleged attack.

“I would like to hear from anyone who may have seen him here and seen where he went.

“Patrols will be stepped up in the village to reassure the local community.”

Anyone with information should contact Det Sgt Hughes on 08458 505505 or the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.