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Martin Nicholls badly beaten by yobs in Sea Street, Herne Bay

A gang of yobs launched an unprovoked attack on a funeral director on his way home from a work charity night in the town.

Martin Nicholls was set upon and repeatedly punched in the face by the thugs before he managed to fend them off.

But the 42-year-old dad was left with cuts, bruises and swelling to his face and his family say his attackers must now be caught.

Martin Nicholls suffered nasty facial injuries (8083022)
Martin Nicholls suffered nasty facial injuries (8083022)

It happened shortly around 12.30am when Mr Nicholls, who works for A Welch & Sons, was returning to his home in St George's Avenue via Sea Street when he was jumped on.

His wife Kerry and stepson Aaron Nevard were horrified to see his injuries when he came through the door and reported the attack to police soon after.

Mr Nicholls, who is a former special constable, is trying to put the incident behind him but is now anxious about going out at night.

Aaron, 22, a motor parts advisor, said: "It was a shock to his injuries. People who do this sort of thing have to be caught because they are danger to the public."

He said the family were disappointed not to have heard back from the police since reporting the attack in the early hours of Sunday but hoped some evidence of the offenders may have been caught on CCTV.

"It was a completely unprovoked attack. These three young men just came out of nowhere and dad was punched at least three times in the face before managing to fend them off," said Aaron.

Martin Nicholls suffered nasty facial injuries (8083026)
Martin Nicholls suffered nasty facial injuries (8083026)

"Unfortunately, he didn't get a really good look at them because it was dark.

"Ironically, he only decided to walk that way and not through the park because a friend of his was attacked there just a few weeks earlier."

Aaron posted pictures of his stepfather's injuries on the Herne Bay Chatter Facebook page which prompted numerous messages of support and calls for better policing in the town.

Canterbury Community Safety Unit Inspector Vicki Tyler said: "We received a report at 2.05am on Sunday that a man had been approached by three men in the Sea Street area of Herne Bay and assaulted earlier in the night. He said he had left the scene and got home safely to report the matter.

"Each reported incident is assessed on a call-by-call basis in order to provide the best possible policing service and to determine if attendance by an officer is required. In this case the victim was no longer at the scene so there was no immediate risk to life, and the report was made to police some time afterwards.

"Advice was given to the victim to seek medical help as a precaution and to call back if he had further details about the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/56973/19.

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