POLICE in Durham are appealing for witnesses after a man was attacked and robbed as he made his way home in the early hours of this morning.

The incident happened at about 2am this morning as the victim, a 26-year-old local man was walking along Station Road in Meadowfield after a night out with friends.

As he stopped at an area known locally as 'the lines', close to the junction with Chalfont Way he was approached by two men in their twenties.

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The first was around 6ft 2ins with short dark hair, wearing a long-sleeved dark top with a white band across the chest. His accomplice was 5ft 8ins tall with light hair and freckles, wearing a dark, short-sleeved top.

Durham Police said the pair assaulted and robbed him of his wallet and his iPhone before they ran off along ‘the lines’ in the direction of Sawmills Lane.

The victim was left with cuts and bruises to his face and head, but was not seriously injured and did not need hospital treatment.

Detective Inspector Traci McNally said: "This was an unprovoked attack on a man who had been enjoying a night out with his friends. We are keen to trace anyone who was in the area, even if they are not sure they have any useful information.

"I would also appeal to anyone who knows the people responsible for this despicable act."

Police also want to speak to a man wearing a white shirt and jeans who spoke to the victim immediately after the incident, as they believe he may be a potentially vital witness.

"There is no reason to think this is connected to any other incident but there are a number of detectives on this case following up potential leads. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find the men responsible," said DI McNally.

Anyone with information can call police on 101 and should mention Operation Neptune, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.