73-year-old man knocked unconscious in Portsmouth street attack

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A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

UPDATE: Man, 20, arrested after ‘suspicious object’ is found at student halls in Portsmouth city centre

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POLICE are hunting a gang who assaulted a pensioner in an unprovoked attack in Portsmouth.

A 73-year-old man was knocked unconscious by a gang of thugs near in London Road, North End.

The victim has been walking by Barclays Bank and The Sir John Baker pub, when he was targeted by three men who were behind him.

One of them threw a bottle at the victim before kicking him in the stomach after he turned round to confront the group.

The elderly man was then knocked unconscious after he fell on the pavement and banged his head against a wall.

Police say the suspects left him on the ground before leaving in a silver Renault Clio.

The man had walked from Laburnum Grove before the incident happened at about 9.15pm on Saturday.

PC Daniel Neligan, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘I would say it’s rare given the man’s age, but violent crime is common in night-time economy areas which have pubs and restaurants.

‘It appears to be an unprovoked attack.’

‘We don’t know why the elderly man was in the area and it doesn’t appear that he was seriously injured.

‘But I would say he was left shaken up and witnesses say they were as well.’

The victim was treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, for swelling and bruising on the side of his head and was later released.

The man with the bottle was dark-haired and in his early twenties.

He wore jeans and a light-coloured jacket. PC Neligan said: ‘It is so important that more witnesses come forward and help us because this could have been anyone’s grandad or father.

‘I especially want to hear from anyone who was in the London Road area, near Barclays Bank or the Sir John Baker pub, at about 9.10pm on the night of the attack.

‘If you were there, did you see the assault?

‘Did you see a silver Renault leave the area via Laburnum Grove?

‘I also want to appeal directly to the men involved in the incident to come forward to the police and tell their side of the story.

‘This includes the two men who were with the man responsible for the assault.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Neligan on 101.