A WOMAN in her 20s was robbed in broad daylight after she was followed through a rural town centre this morning.

The "very frightening incident" happened in Sherborne at 7.15am. Police say the victim was walking along Lenthay Road when she noticed a man sitting on the wall of the cemetery.

As she passed him, he stood up and began following her into Horsecastles, Acreman Street, Digby Road and Pageant Gardens.

Once in Pageant Gardens, the man shouted at the victim. She turned around and the offender grabbed her handbag, a mobile phone she was holding and a plastic carrier bag.

He went into her bag, took her purse out and rifled through it. He stole a £10 note and two bank cards before he threw the rest of her belongings on the floor.

One of the bank cards was subsequently used to make a fraudulent contactless payment.

PC Glen Caddy, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a very frightening incident for the victim."

Anyone who was in the area at the time and either saw or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact police via dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190137877.

"Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team can be approached by members of the public with any community concerns," PC Caddy said.