DETECTIVES have appealed for witnesses after a gang of thugs punched and kicked a man to the ground in a vicious assault on a Blackpool street.

The 21-year-old victim, from Fleetwood, was left with a fractured cheek, a broken jaw, nose and teeth following the incident outside Blockbuster Video, Whitegate Drive at around 9.40pm on Monday, October 18.

He had been returning from a friend's house when he became aware of an unknown man shouting abuse at him in the street.

After ignoring this the offender - who is believed to be aged between 25 and 30 years - struck him across the back of the head and began to punch and kick him causing the victim to fall to the floor.

Two more men, of a similar age, then appeared and joined in with the attack.

The gang only stopped the beating when a passing motorist noticed the victim trying to stand up and being overpowered by the trio.

They made their escape, taking the victim's holdall bag with them.

He then was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

A Blackpool police spokesman said: "At this stage we are keen to speak to anyone who saw or heard anything in the area during the time of the incident.

"Particularly anybody who may have stopped to help the victim as the offenders made their escape.

"From what we can gather this was a violent and motiveless attack, as the three offenders seemed to have only decided to take the victim's bag as an afterthought."

The first offender is described as a white male, of athletic build with a shaven head and a broad bridged nose.

He was wearing a distinctive diamond-style earring and sportswear.

The two other offenders were white males, aged 25 to 40 years and both had shaven heads.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Blackpool police directly on 01253 293933 quoting crime reference AX8779.