A POLISH man was beaten by a gang brandishing a 2ft sword and baseball bats after he challenged a nine-year-old boy who was throwing missiles at a house.
The 35-year-old, from Accrington, was helping a young Polish family move out of their Royds Street home on Monday when youngsters started pelting eggs at the property in the latest of a series of attacks.
The victim approached the children – all believed to under the age of 10 – and grabbed a nine-year-old boy who he intended to march the few steps around the corner to the police station, but the boy began to cry and wriggled free of his grasp.
Minutes later a white and black van pulled up in front of the house and at least three armed men jumped out and attacked the victim.
After being hit with the baseball bats and threatened with the sword, the victim managed to scramble back into the house while his attackers continued to smash the front door and living room window before fleeing.
Police recovered the van later that evening on Edmund Street in Accrington.
The victim has been treated at the Royal Blackburn Hospital for cuts, bruises and swellings to his body and for a nasty gash on his head. He is now recovering at home.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward to help them catch the attackers. Detective Sergeant Mark Gillibrand, of Accrington CID, said: "This was a cowardly attack on an innocent man. He was outnumbered by the men who produced weapons to hurt him but, fortunately, he has not been severely injured.
"It appears he was attacked over a relatively trivial incident while he was simply helping his friends to move. I appeal to anyone who has information about this mindless attack to come forward."
The first man is described as white, of large build and around 40 years old.
He had short brown hair and was wearing casual clothing. The second man is described as white, in his 20s and of slim build. He was slightly taller and also wearing casual clothes. There is no description of the third man.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Accrington CID on 353742.