A Sydney woman used a large saucepan to defend herself when a predator attempted to assault her in her home on Wednesday night.

According to New South Wales police, the woman was walking home in McMahon’s Point, North Sydney, just after 6pm when she noticed a man was following her.

The 46-year-old woman continued walking home, and when she entered the foyer of her unit block the attacker grabbed her from behind.

The woman, who was returning home after cooking dinner for friends, happened to be carrying a large saucepan which she proceeded to use to bash the man over the head several times.

The man released his grasp and ran whimpering from the building.

A witness chased after the attacker, but was unable to keep up and the woman, who came away unscathed bar a cut to her hand, called police.

Harbourside Local Area Command searched the area without success, and are now investigating the incident.

The male attacker is described as being 175cm tall with a stocky build and long black curly hair. He was wearing a light-coloured top and dark pants at the time of the incident.

Police received reports from other women about a man with a similar description acting suspiciously in the area around the same time.

Anyone with information about the man’s identity is urged to contact Harbourside Local Area Command or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.