POLICE are hunting three people who attacked a Hampshire man and left him lying in the road with serious facial injuries.

The 31-year-old victim was walking along Eling Lane in Totton when his assailants struck. He suffered a broken jaw and three other fractures – all of which required surgery.

Police are anxious to trace his female companion, who saw the incident and may be able to help detectives catch the culprits.

The victim, from Marchwood , was with a woman he had met in a Totton pub earlier in the evening.

A police spokesman said: “As the pair walked they noticed three men on the opposite side of the road. One of them approached the victim and asked for a cigarette. The next thing he remembers is the woman trying to pick him up in the middle of the road.”

Police say she left the scene after the man’s father arrived and drove him to hospital.

The spokesman added: “The victim believes he was assaulted from behind by one or more of the men. He was knocked out and treated at Southampton General Hospital for four fractures to the left side of his face.”

Police believe his companion may have had a first name that began with the letter S.

Detective Constable Mark Bradley said: “The victim suffered very serious injuries. We hope the woman who was walking with him at the time will come forward to help police bring his attackers to justice.”

The three men were in their late teens or early twenties. One had short blonde hair and may have been wearing an orange T-shirt.

The incident occurred in the early hours of August 12. Ring police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.