Man set alight in Leek after vicious street attack
THREE arrests have been made after a 22-year-old man was brutally attacked in a town centre alleyway.
The victim suffered serious facial injuries and burns in the assault in Leek on Saturday night.
It is understood he was hit around the head with an iron bar before being set alight.
A spokesman from Staffordshire police said: "Officers were called to a report of an injured man in Hall Avenue, Leek.
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"Officers attended, along with colleagues from the ambulance service and a 22-year-old man from Leek was taken to hospital with facial injuries and burn injuries to his neck."
The man was involved in an incident in an alleyway off Derby Street in Leek town centre, at around 7.45pm when he was attacked.
Detectives investigating the incident have arrested three suspects.
An 18-year-old woman from Stoke-on-Trent, a 37-year-old woman from Leek and 40-year-old man, also from Leek, have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Graham Webster, from Leek, owns the Tasty Corner hot-food van stationed in Derby Road.
He saw the aftermath of the incident as he left the Bird in Hand pub.
The 63-year-old said: "I was just walking through the town when I saw there was a police cordon over the alleyway.
"I own a hot-food van that is just opposite so I went to find out what was going on.
"There were seven or eight policemen around and lots of cars – I thought that something serious must have happened.
"I heard there had been an assault but I didn't realise how serious it was.
"It is very unusual that you hear of violence like this in Leek."
The young victim, who has not been named by police, was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
He was released the following day.
A spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "We were called to Hall Avenue in Leek at 8.12pm on Saturday. A man was treated for at the scene for burns to his neck, and also facial and head injuries.
"A rapid response vehicle and a doctor attended.
"The patient's condition was stabilised and he was transferred to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire for further assessment and treatment."
Residents have been shocked by the violent attack that happened just yards from the main high street.
Martin Notley, aged 57, of Livingstone Street, Leek, said: "It is a sad state of affairs and you just don't expect it in Leek.
"The attack was obviously very brutal and a lot of people have heard about it. It is was the talk of the town.
"I think it is worrying when these things go on."
Witnesses should call police on 101.