A teenager has spoken of his shock after large parts of his ears were sliced off in a sickening town centre attack.

The 18-year-old barber is facing major reconstructive surgery after being dragged down a side street by a mystery attacker on his way home from a night out.

The man, who has asked not be named fearing he could be targeted again, lost around a third of both ears.

He told the Observer: “I don’t know why someone would do this. I’m just trying to get on with it but I’m in a lot of pain.

“People started screaming as I walked past them through the town centre as they could see what I couldn’t.”

Police said the 18-year-old victim was grabbed and pulled into a side street off Eastgate, Accrington, at 1.30am on Sunday and viciously assaulted with what is believed to be a knife.

The victim, who lives in Church, had been in Petra Takeaway on Whalley Road with friends just moments before the attack.

Detectives have reviewed CCTV footage and say there is no suggestion the incident was gang related.

The former Mount Carmel pupil added: “I want to see the people who did it caught and dealt with properly.

“I can’t sleep properly because when I toss and turn I wake up when either one of  my ears touches the pillow.
 
“They can also just start bleeding, even though they’ve been stitched and glued to close the wounds.”

DI Mark Vaughton, of Accrington CID, said his team is working to establish exactly what happened to the victim and has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

DI Vaughton said: “There were a number of people in the area at the time of the incident, some of which may have seen what happened. There are a number of takeaways and taxi offices nearby which may have had staff or customers who saw the incident or anything else suspicious and I would urge them to come forward.”

The victim’s mum said: “He works full-time and is just a general teenager who goes out with his friends.

“When I first got to the hospital he was covered in blood. I was able to see him properly the next morning. I could see his ears had been sliced off but stitched. It was awful.”

Anyone with information can call police on 08451 25 35 45.