A 101-year-old Merseyside woman fought off a would-be thief who had tricked her way into her home and tried to steal her handbag.

Officers were called to the address in Stonycroft on Sunday at around 2.25pm, following a report that a female had called at the victim's home and asked to use the phone.

She then forced her way into the house, searched downstairs, and asked for money before trying to take the victim's purse from her handbag.

The elderly resident managed to grab it and hold on to it and told the to get out of her house, at which point she left empty-handed.

Detective Inspector Phil Mahon said: "The victim is 101 years old, one of only a handful of people in the country who has lived through both World Wars - but some deplorable person still thinks it is acceptable to barge into her home and try to steal from her.

"She bravely fought the offender off and I have nothing but admiration for her determination and remarkable spirit.

"The victim suffered a slight abrasion to her arm but otherwise, thankfully, was uninjured. She was however left upset following her ordeal.

"I know the local community will share my disgust at this incident and I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to bring the person responsible to justice.

"As part of our investigation, we have issued three CCTV stills of a woman who we believe may have vital information which could help us with our enquiries.

"I would appeal to the woman, or anyone who may recognise her, to get in touch with us as soon as possible."

Patrols have been stepped up in the area to reassure the local community and officers have also spoken to the victim and her family to offer crime prevention advice and measures to further enhance security at the property.

Anyone with information about this incident can call detectives in St Anne Street CID via the police non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.