A GAS engineer was left bleeding in the street after he was attacked by a gang of youths on his way home from work.
Jamie Bibby, 26, of Limewood Close, Accrington, was driving his works van along Sydney Street, when the group of about 10 teenagers stepped into the road, blocking his way.
He got out of the van after the youths surrounded it and was hit on the back of the head with a bottle, knocking him to the ground, where he was kicked in the stomach and back.
A friend, who had been talking to Jamie on his hands-free kit at the time of the attack, was first on the scene and called the emergency services.
Jamie spent two days in hospital amid fears he had a broken neck, but is now back at home with his partner, Lyndsey, 24, a student nurse, and their son, Reece, six.
Jamie said he was shocked by the motiveless attack, adding: "They were all so young. I just thought they were messing about and when I got out of the car I wasn't worried.
"I didn't expect things to go the way that they did.
"I was shocked I had been battered by a group of young lads."
Lyndsey added: "It's just been horrendous. You don't expect something like that to happen at tea-time. It makes you worry for your children growing up."
Police have condemned the attack and appealed for witnesses.
Inspector Stuart Bruce said: "This is a very serious incident in which a hard-working man on his way home had the confidence to deal with a group of youths who were obstructing the road.
"I would expect most people will be appalled to hear of this incident.
"The people responsible for this assault have only two choices, either come forward immediately or expect to be arrested very soon.
"Accrington Police are eager to do everything possible to bring the offenders to justice - if you were in the group then silence is not an option and we can assure you that being there makes you either a significant witness or a suspect."
Inspector Bruce added that police were continuing to work hard to combat juvenile nuisance in the area.
Police are keen to trace witnesses.
Anyone with information should contact Sergeant Driver at Accrington Police Station on 382141 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.