A ‘Good Samaritan’ was violently attacked at Accrington railway station as a gang of men verbally abused a female guard.
Police said the 67-year-old man, who was a passenger on board a train, disembarked to remonstrate with one of the gang before being assaulted.
The pensioner was left unconscious on the ground with a fractured cheekbone, two black eyes and head injuries.
He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he is still receiving treatment.
The incident happened at around 8.45pm on Tuesday, February 7, on the station platform.
Investigating officer, Det Con Chris Biggs, said it was an ‘incredibly violent and unprovoked assault’ and has appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He said: “A gentleman who stepped in to defend a female train guard, who was subjected to disgusting verbal abuse from a group of youths, found himself the victim of an incredibly violent, unprovoked assault.
“He was knocked unconscious on the floor and is still in hospital.
“Fortunately violent incidents like this are rare, and I am sure that most people in the community will be shocked to hear about this upsetting assault.
“I would like to reassure you that we are investigating and we will bring those responsible to justice.
“I would like to speak to anyone who was at the station, perhaps on the train or platform who may have seen or heard what happened on Tuesday evening.”
British Transport Police (BTP) said the offender is Asian, around 18 to 22 years old, 6ft 2ins, wearing a blue hooded anorak and black tracksuit bottoms.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the incident including a 17-year-old boy from Rossendale and three men aged 19, 22 and 18, all from Accrington.
They have all been bailed pending further enquiries.
Anyone with information should call BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text the information to 61016, quoting reference number 258 9/2/17.