A woman has been left seriously injured after a motorbike spooked her horse on a bridleway in Sunderland last week (30 September).

The accident happened on an old railway line near Coxhoe Green in Houghton. The lady — who has been named locally as 40-year-old Gail Mawhinney — was taken to hospital with severe internal injuries.

Police are now trying to trace the bike rider who reportedly did not stop after the incident.

“Police are keen to speak to the motorcyclist who was riding the blue and white off-road style motorbike,” said a spokesman.

“He is believed to have been wearing a white helmet.”

A farmer — who employs Ms Mawhinney — has spoken out to local press warning that “next time someone could be killed”.

“We need to discourage other people from doing what has happened here,” Mr Broadwith said.

“It’s bad enough that some bikers are tormenting people by riding about at speeds of 50 or 60mph, but this person did not slow down and then sped off after it happened.

“He was somewhere he should not be and someone needs to make people aware that this is a problem.

“It’s not that we have an axe to grind against bikers, but next time, somebody could be killed.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 942 300914, or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.