DETECTIVES have sealed off part of a road following a vicious assault in the early hours.
The 36-year-old victim had stopped to chat to a friend on a bench at the junction of Elson Road and Elson Lane, Gosport, at 2.30am today.
They were just in front of St Thomas the Apostle Church when they were approached by a man who repeatedly hit the victim in the head. His friend, a 40-year-old local man, was also assaulted, sustaining a minor head wound.
Initially the victim was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, and later transferred to Southampton General Hospital where he is being treated for serious head injuries. His condition is described as stable.
Detectives are now appealing for witnesses to the incident which happened following a night out in the nearby Three Tuns pub.
Police are in the area conducting a crime scene examination, studying CCTV and continuing to speak to witnesses today. They would like to speak to anyone who saw the victim and his friend in the pub earlier in the evening.
A 35-year-old man from Gosport has been arrested and is currently in custody.
Anyone with information should call 101 and ask for Portsmouth CID.
Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.