A VULNERABLE man was left with a nasty wound to his eye socket after he was viciously attacked with an 18-inch metal bar.

The 32-year-old man, who suffers from severe learning difficulties, needed 12 stitches to close the three-inch wound after he was assaulted in a field at the back of Crawford Avenue on the Shakerley Estate in Tyldesley.

The man went with his friend to speak to the occupants of a house on Crawford Avenue between 3.30pm and 4pm on July 26.

The occupants, armed with a pink 18-inch metal bar, chased the victim and his friend onto the field where they became separated.

One of the offenders, said to be white, 5ft 10in tall, of a slim build, with brown hair and wearing a blue t-shirt, repeatedly struck the victim, hitting him five times in the head with the weapon.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information about the attack to come forward.

Det Con Lee Jamieson said: "This man, who suffers from learning difficulties, was subjected to a sustained and repeated barrage at the hands of his assailant.

"He was struck five times with a metal bar and needed a dozen stitches to close a nasty wound. In some ways, he is lucky his injuries were not more serious because he already has a metal plate in his head from an old injury he sustained as a child.

"Our investigation is now focused on establishing the circumstances leading up to this assault and what motivated the offender, and those who participated in the chase, to commit such a dreadful act.

"That is why I am appealing to anyone who has information about this attack to come forward."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7225 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.