A MAN has been blinded in one eye after he was assaulted at a popular nightclub in Southampton city centre.

Dean Defretas, 47, was punched in the face which led to a brawl breaking out inside the Cellar bar, formally the Soul Cellar, in West Marlands Road.

Police, who have released CCTV images of people they want to speak to, said Dean was out with family members and workmates to celebrate Christmas when he was punched in the face by a man.

The blow, which officers say was unprovoked, caused a serious injury to his left eye.

He has since undergone surgery at the specialist Eye Unit at Southampton General Hospital but has been told he has permanently lost the sight in his eye.

The attack happened at around 3am on Saturday, December 15.

Dean, who works at Southampton Docks, remains in hospital following the surgery.

Officers are appealing for witnesses who saw any of the incident or thinks they know who is responsible for the attack on Dean to contact them.

They are also releasing CCTV images of people they would like to speak to in connection with the assault. It is known they were in the bar around the time of the incident and may be important witnesses.

Anyone with information of who knows who the people in the CCTV stills may be, is asked to contact Detective Constable Gavin Jordan at Shirley CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.