COPS hunting a rape monster believe he may have serious facial injuries after his brave victim tried to fight him off.
They hope the scars can help them nail the brute who struck in the woman’s home.
A source said last night: “All she can remember is going for his face during the attack. Her survival instinct just kicked in.
The sex beast, who attacked his victim in her own home, has a prominent tattoo of a red-eyed animal among many on his arms.
Detectives also believe that the attacker may have severe injuries to his face and neck after his victim bravely battled to fend him off.
“We’re hoping she has marked him enough that he can be identified and brought to justice.”
The victim was being comforted by relatives yesterday following the sickening assault just after midnight on Sunday in Dalkeith, Midlothian.
Police revealed the heavily-muscled 6ft pervert, thought to be in his mid-20s, had tattoos on both arms — including one of an animal with distinctive red eyes.
They believe he may have followed the woman home from a nightclub in the town before sneaking in.
Officers were last night studying CCTV footage.
DCI Kenny Gray praised the victim’s “immense bravery”. He added: “She did manage to potentially injure his face and his neck.”
“We appeal to anyone in the vicinity of Allan Terrace between 12 midnight and 2am on Sunday, who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, to contact police.”
The 20-year-old victim had been out to a few pubs and the Peppermint Park Nightclub in Newmills Road in Dalkeith before returning to her house at around 12.20am on Sunday.
It is thought the man may have followed her as she walked home alone as he broke into the house a short time later.
The woman heard a noise at the front of her house and when she went downstairs she found the man inside her hallway. He then attacked and raped her.
Police want to speak to anyone who saw the woman walking home alone or the man in the area between midnight and 2am on Sunday.
The victim walked from Newmills Road, down Gibraltar Road to Allan Terrace just after midnight. She is 5ft 2ins tall with brown hair and was wearing black leggings, a cream top with elbow length sleeves and flat white shoes.