A woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint in Manchester city centre yesterday morning.
It happened at about 2.45am on August 5 on Great Bridgewater Street in the city centre.
The woman, 27, was on a night out with her friends but became detached from the group.
As she walked to the top of Canal Street she noticed a black man close to the canal, who followed her along Portland Street.
When she got to the Rain Bar the offender shouted to attract her attention and then produced a flick knife, grabbing her by the wrist and leading her down an alleyway at the side of the bar.
She was then sexually assaulted while the offender continued to hold the knife to her neck, and was only distracted by a passing car which prompted the man to run off.
The victim then contacted police.
Detectives are now investigating the attack and are appealing to anyone who has information to come forward.
The man is described as being black, in his late 20s, about 5ft 7in tall and of an athletic build.
He was said to have a flat nose, a thin moustache, chin length hair and a gold tooth to the right side of his mouth.
He was wearing a black baseball cap, a purple-hooded top and dark trousers.
Detective Inspector Mark Roters, of North Manchester CID, said: "Firstly our thoughts are with this woman at what is clearly a very traumatic time for her.
“Our priority is to find her attacker and detectives will be pursuing every possible lead to find this man.
"This will understandably cause concern among people who go into the city centre on a night out but I want to try and reassure people where possible.
"Firstly, this is not being linked to any of the series of recent sexual assaults in the Moss Side area and we believe this to be an isolated incident.
“Nonetheless, we know that people will be anxious and that is why we have launched an investigation to find this man.
“I would therefore appeal to anyone who has information that might help us catch this dangerous man and put him behind bars.
"Our city centre is a safe place to visit and we want people to enjoy themselves, but I would also ask that people do remain on their guard while out and where possible try to stick together in groups and to well-lit and well-populated areas."
Anyone with information should call police on 101, north Manchester CID on 0161 856 3127 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515.
St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical after care service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault.
Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.
Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused.
Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500.
Black and Minority Ethnic helpline: 0161 273 4514.