Manhunt as two women critically hurt in 'horrific' attack by stranger

A mother and daughter are fighting for their lives after being attacked in the street by a stranger, Scotland Yard has said.

Officers, who have recovered a hammer they think "may have been used in the assaults", described what happened as "violent and unprovoked".

The women were targeted in Adderley Gardens in Eltham, southeast London, where neighbours described hearing a scream and later seeing the pavement covered in blood.

Police were called at 12.10pm on Sunday to find the victims, aged 30 and 64, suffering from injuries "consistent with a violent assault".

They are are in a critical condition at south London hospitals and next of kin have been informed.

Detectives are looking for a man who is "believed to be violent and have mental health issues".

Members of the public are being told not to approach Joe Xuereb, 27, from Greenwich.

Police described Xuereb as a "white male with short light coloured hair".

He is wearing "beige trousers, a white top and black trainers", and was last seen on a black and orange push bike.

"I would like to reassure the community that we are doing everything we can to trace Xuereb and question him in relation to the horrific attack which has left two women fighting for their lives," said Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan.

:: Anyone who sees Xuereb should call 999, quoting CAD 3412/19 August.

:: Alternatively, they can ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.