THIS is the battered face of Rob Hughes, who was left with the imprint of a trainer on his forehead and nose following a vicious gang attack.

ATTACK VICTIM Rob Hughes recovering at home
ATTACK VICTIM Rob Hughes recovering at home

Mr Hughes and his wife were set upon by 10 thugs as they waited for a taxi in Castlemere Street, Deeplish, Rochdale at about midnight last Saturday.

Trouble flared after the couple, who were standing on opposite sides of the street, began arguing about booking a taxi.

As they were doing so a car pulled over and the driver warned them to stop shouting in his street.

The man then returned with the three passengers followed by another car full of men, who jumped out and ran at Rob, 38, knocking him to the floor and kicking and punching his face.

More men then came running down the street to join in the attack as Mr Hughes crawled across the road to try and escape.

His terrified wife, 37, shouted at them to stop, but one of the men turned on her punching her in the face and knocking one of her teeth through her lip.

Then one of the thugs shouted to the gang to leave saying 'if we don't stop we're going to kill him'

The violent attack was over in minutes, but Mr Hughes has been left with blurred vision in his right eye and an abrasion across his eyeball.

He had two black eyes and a swollen nose with a footprint running from his forehead across the bridge of his nose and two chipped teeth.

He had also sustained cuts and bruises to his knees and elbows as he crawled across the floor to try and escape his attackers.

Mr Hughes, of Milnrow, said: "I think they were just looking for an argument.

"A group of them were congregated somewhere and the driver pulled up to get them, within three seconds they've all piled on to me - obviously there was intent. I knew I was going to get a hiding.

"The first thing that crossed my mind is that I hope none of these have got a knife.

"I fell on to my knees and hands and crawled along, I just thought if I stop down here I'm not going to get up again.

"It seemed to go on for ages, my jacket was ripped to smithereens, but they didn't take anything - they didn't want to rob me.

"I know this does happen a lot, but nothing like this has happened to us before, I think we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"In hindsight I'm more mad that they hit a women, I'm really glad I didn't see my wife get punched.

"I consider myself lucky to get out of it like I have."

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "Shortly before midnight on Saturday 15 August 2009, a 38-year-old man and 37-year-old woman were assaulted by a group of about 10 men on Castlemere Street, Deeplish.

"The offenders are all described as Asian. The man and woman suffered facial injuries.

"Inquiries are continuing."