‘Help catch thug who left me with broken jaw and missing teeth’

A CCTV image of the man police want to speak with.
A CCTV image of the man police want to speak with.
Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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A MAN has told how he was left with a broken jaw and four missing teeth following a vicious assault at a taxi rank.

John Creese needed surgery and was unable to eat for three days after being knocked out in the unprovoked attack.

The 31-year-old had been enjoying a night out with friends at The Pyramids Centre in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, and had walked to nearby Palmerston Road when he was set upon as he tried to help a friend who was being assaulted.

Bricklayer Mr Creese, from Rest-A-Wyle Avenue, Hayling Island, said: ‘We were outside the Slug and Lettuce, just talking while we waited for our taxi.

‘Then one of my mates and his girlfriend who live in Portsmouth went across the road to get a taxi.

‘We didn’t see how it happened but the next minute we saw him on the floor and about five blokes were giving him a kicking.

‘I went over and before I had even done anything someone came up and hit me in the back of my head and knocked me out.

‘All I remember is waking up and there being blood everywhere and being dragged off the road by my mates.

‘My mate just had a few grazes.’

As reported in The News, police released a CCTV image of the man wanted for the assault – which happened at about 2am on New Year’s Day – in the hope of bringing him to justice.

Mr Creese said: ‘I was in hospital for four days.

‘I had to have an operation on my jaw because it was broken.

‘I’ve got two plates now and I lost four teeth.

‘It was totally unprovoked. I just want this guy to be caught.’

The attacker is described as a white man with short, fair hair.

He was wearing a checked shirt.

Detective Constable Jim Garrett, from Portsmouth CID, urged those who know the man to come forward.

He said: ‘Please can anyone who witnessed this assault or has knowledge of the incident contact me as soon as possible.

‘At this time of night there is likely to have been lots of people leaving venues and walking past.

‘Any information will be treated in confidence.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Con Garrett at Fratton police station on 101 or 0845 0454545.

Alternatively call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.