Lancashire police are appealing after a teenage boy was the victim of a homophobic assault in the town of Nelson earlier this month which left him with a broken jaw.

At around 9:30pm on Saturday the 11th February, the 16-year-old boy was walking through Nelson town centre along Netherfield Road with his sister when three men shouted homophobic abuse at him.

An argument then broke out between the group before the three men began assaulting the teenager, punching and kicking him in the face.

The offenders were disturbed when a man who was passing intervened. They fled the scene.

The victim was left needing surgery for a broken jaw and police are appealing for anyone with any information to come forward.

Detective Constable Julie Leigh, investigating, said: “This was a vicious and nasty assault and I am very keen to trace the people responsible.

“In particular, I would like to speak to the man who intervened and was able to stop the assault and would urge him, if he sees or hears this appeal to contact us.

“I would also appeal to anyone else that may have been in the area at the time who may have witnessed anything or to anyone that recognises the descriptions of the offenders to contact us.”

The three men are described as Asian, between 16 and 19 years of age. One of them in particular was described as being of medium build, around five feet eight and five feet ten inches tall and clean shaven with short, dark cropped, hair. He was wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police by calling 101 or alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.