A lake has been closed to anglers after a town councillor who lives nearby believes she was slashed with a craft knife as she prepared to paint the gate at the end of her lane.

Frances Sutton, 54, who lives next to Crowmere Lake, known locally as Crummer's Lake, Frodsham, was left with three small cuts on her back, which were treated at Warrington Hospital.

The Frodsham town councillor didn’t see the culprit as she ran home as soon as she felt the pain, without looking back.

Mrs Sutton, whose husband was not home at the time of the incident at 6.30pm on Wednesday, July 31, explained: “I went to paint the gate. I was going to take some shears down to get rid of the foliage that grows behind it.

“I turned round to come back and get the shears and I felt a sharp pain.

“Originally I thought I heard footsteps running behind me and thought it was a jogger so started to move over.

“I felt the pain and thought I heard breathing and I just ran. I was petrified. I cannot begin to explain how horrific it was.”

Once inside Mrs Sutton looked out of the window but couldn’t see anybody. She could feel blood running down her back and examining herself in a mirror could see three holes in her shirt. The town councillor immediately rang police.

“The nurse who dealt with it said it looked like a sharp blade,” she added.

Mrs Sutton, a mother of two grown-up children, said a public footpath ran in front of the house at the isolated spot and she had been left feeling vulnerable but had been heartened by calls from well-wishers.

She said: “I have changed somewhat. I’m not quite as confident at the moment as I was but I’m trying hard not to let it affect my life.”

Mrs Sutton said there had been ‘trouble’ at the lake involving anglers but it had ‘not been too bad over the last couple of years’.

“I have never had a dispute with anybody,” she added.

Mrs Sutton stressed the closure of the lake by the town council, until further notice, was not her decision. She assumed it was pending the outcome of enquiries into what had taken place.

DC Andrew Hein of Cheshire Police said: “It isn’t clear how these injuries came about, the victim saw no one or any weapon but thought she heard someone. A search was made of the area and enquiries were carried out to locate witnesses. We would urge anyone with information to contact us in order to help us with our enquiries.

“This is an unusual incident and I would like to reassure the community that there have been no further incidents of this nature.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Hein on 101 quoting incident number 775 of July 31, 2013. Details can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.