A student was left unconscious and bleeding on the ground after he was viciously kicked and punched by a gang of men and women.
Community leaders and police today said they were appalled by the brutal attack in Deepdale, Preston.
The 20-year-old victim, who asked not to be named, was walking home after a night out when the incident happened.
He reached the junction of Elgin Street and St George’s Road, Deepdale, when he came across the group.
Without warning the victim was assaulted, being repeatedly punched and kicked in the face and head. He was left unconscious on the ground before the group returned a short time later and stole his wallet. It contained just £10.
It is not clear what sparked the five minute incident, but police today described the attack as “random, unprovoked and vicious.”
The victim, a law student at UCLan, who is originally from Burnley, said: “I had been on a night out and was walking home. I just remember waking up and a paramedic was there.
“I remember the start of it. Obviously a group of people when you are walking home on your own, you try not to look at them and sneak past them. The next thing I was on the floor.”
The victim was left with severe bruising on his face and a cut lip. Coun Anis Faruki, who represents the St George’s ward on Preston Council, said: “I’m absolutely appalled.
“At the last PACT meeting, apart from a few burglary incidents, the police didn’t have any (crime) information, so I hope the police spring into action and catch the people responsible as soon as possible.
“My sympathy is with the victim and I will be speaking with residents to allay any concerns or fears they may have.”
Police are today appealing for information about the incident, which was captured on CCTV.
As the attackers left, they were seen to walk up Elgin Street, turn left on to Charnock Street and walk in the direction of the Spar store. Meanwhile, residents rushed to the stricken student’s aid.
Det Con Marcus Latham, of Preston CID, said: “This appears to be a random, unprovoked and vicious attack on a member of the public just on his way home after a night out.
“After they rendered the victim unconscious they have decided to return and steal his wallet from him.
“I urge anybody with knowledge of the persons responsible to contact me, Det Con 3193 Marcus Latham, on 01772 209750 at Preston Police Headquarters”. The suspects are described as two men and women in their late teens to early 20s.
The first man was around 20 and had a skin head and a slim build. He was wearing dark jeans and a white round neck short sleeved top.
The second man was around 5ft 7in and had all in dark clothing. He had balding dark shaven hair and was in his mid-20s.
One of the women was white, with dark hair and was wearing a dark padded jacket with a fur-lined hood. She was around 5ft 5in - 5ft 6in tall and wore denim jeans.
The second woman was around 20, slimmer than the first woman and wore dark clothes and a fake leather jacket. The incident happened at 1.10am on February 3.