Police are investigating after a woman was found unconscious with serious head injuries in a Newcastle back lane.
Detectives were called to the lane between Spencer Street and Chillingham Road, in Heaton, just after 5am yesterday where they found a 39-year-old woman who had been assaulted.
Paramedics took the woman to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment and police have now launched an investigation.
The back lane was cordoned off all day yesterday as detectives examined the scene for clues.
Meanwhile, people who live in the area have told of their surprise and concern.
Shop assistant Emran Zan said: “It is quite a shock. This is no good. The local people can’t believe this has happened.”
Lucy Chapel, 17, of Chillingham Road, said: “A police officer came and told us what happened. We were really surprised.
“You don’t expect something like this happening in this area.”
A woman who lives on Spencer Street, who did not wish to be named, said she heard shouting in the early hours of the morning.
“I heard some fighting in the back lane,” she said. “I went out last night and when I went to bed at about 1.30am it all started kicking off.
“It went on for about 45 minutes and when I went to sleep they were still shouting.
“I could hear men’s voices but I could hear women’s voices too.”
A student who lives on Chillingham Road, who also did not wish to be named, said: “We have heard that a woman was attacked and that it is quite serious and that she is in hospital. It’s awful, we hope that she is all right.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police moved to reassure the public as detectives carry out door-to-door inquiries. He said: “Police are appealing for witnesses after a 39-year-old woman was assaulted in Newcastle. Officers were called to the back lane of Spencer Street, in Heaton, Newcastle at 5.03am, on Sunday, October 6, where they found an unconscious woman with serious head injuries.
“She was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where she is currently receiving treatment. Police are carrying out inquiries in the area and additional officers are on patrol to reassure the community.”
Witnesses should call police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.