Chesterton warehouse worker Leigh Cope has face rebuilt after metal bar attack
WAREHOUSE worker Leigh Cope has had his face rebuilt after three thugs smashed him over the head with a metal bar in an unprovoked attack.
The 33-year-old, pictured, was also punched, kicked and robbed by the attackers who had stopped him to ask for a cigarette.
Leigh needed a five-hour operation to put steel plates in his fractured cheekbones, rewire his broken jaw and reset his broken nose.
Now he has been discharged from hospital and is appealing for Sentinel readers to help catch the yobs.
The attack happened on a path near the Horn and Trumpet pub between Ford Green Road and Leek New Road, in Sneyd Green, at 11.30pm on Saturday.
Leigh, of Caton Crescent, Milton, who was walking home from work at the New Look distribution warehouse in Chesterton, said: "One of the men punched me straight in the face and then another started hitting and kicking me.
"I saw what looked like an iron bar and I was hit with that and knocked to the floor.
"If I hadn't got to my feet then anything could have happened, they could have killed me.
"These men are still out there and could do this to someone else."
Leigh managed to run away from the scene and get back to the house he shares with his parents. He left his workbag at the scene while his wallet was stolen by the thugs.
Mum Hilary Cope, aged 60, who works as a shop assistant, said: "I couldn't believe what they had done to Leigh.
"His face was really bad and it scared me. I couldn't believe that people are capable of such violence.
"This gang needs to be found because they are still out there and who knows what they are capable of next.
"If he had taken a blow to the back of the head then he wouldn't be with us today."
Staffordshire Police today condemned the unprovoked attack.
The attackers are white and were wearing baseball caps.
One of them is in his late teens to early 20s, of thin build and was wearing a dark baseball cap with a white or grey top.
Inspector Matt Bennion said: "This was a particularly nasty and unusual attack which caused the victim considerable injuries and will no doubt have a lasting effect on the victim.
"We have increased patrols in the area.
"Our inquiries are continuing and we are determined to find those responsible.
"I urge anyone who knows anything to listen to their conscience and contact us."
Witnesses should call Detective Sergeant Rob Taylor on 101, quoting incident number one of November 25, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.