A TEENAGER suffered a "terrifying ordeal" when she was raped in woodland by a man who had knocked her off her bike in his car.

The 18-year-old victim was later discovered by members of the public who alerted police.

The incident took place in a wooded area near Wool between 10.30am and 11.30am yesterday and a major police investigation has been launched.

Detectives were alerted just after midday to the incident off a country lane, which leads from Bindon Lane toward Woodstreet Farm and the B3071.

The victim told police she was cycling along the road when a car approached her from behind, causing her to lose her balance and fall off.

As she got up from the ground she noticed the driver of the car had pulled up and got out of his vehicle. He then guided her into a wooded area where he sexually assaulted and raped her.

The vehicle is described as a small black four-door car.

The offender is described as white, taller than six feet, of skinny build and with dark hair. He is aged in his 40s and has rotten teeth. He was wearing black jeans, a black T-shirt, black trainers and black underwear.

Detectives from Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) are leading the investigation into the incident.

Detective Inspector Mark Jenkins, of MCIT, said: "This man subjected his victim to a terrifying ordeal, which has left her understandably extremely distressed. She is currently being supported by specially-trained officers.

"I would like to reassure members of the public that we are carrying out a detailed investigation into this offence in a bid to identify this man.

"This incident occurred on a relatively quiet country road but I understand it is very popular with dog walkers. I would urge anyone who was in the Bindon Lane area at the relevant time and saw a man or car matching the description given to contact Dorset Police immediately.

"I am particularly interested in speaking to dog walkers who were in the area and may have important information that could assist our enquiry. This includes anyone walking a Schnauzer in that vicinity and a man wearing shorts and a T-shirt who was with a chocolate brown-coloured greyhound. If this was you or you know who it might have been please call us."

Police have arrested a 51-year-old Bournemouth man on suspicion of rape and he is assisting officers with their inquiries.

Detectives continued to appeal for anyone with information about the incident to come forward to police.

Det Insp Jenkins appealed to anyone who may have captured the offender, vehicle or victim on dashcam to come forward. He would also like to hear from anyone who lives nearby and has CCTV.

He added: "There will be an increased police presence and cordons in the area as the scene is examined and enquiries are carried out. Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out high visibility patrols over the coming days and can be approached with any concerns."

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Dorset Police on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.