A man has been hospitalised after he sustained “serious injuries” after an attack outside a North East shopping centre.

Police are looking for five young men who, unprovoked, attacked a man outside a Darlington shopping centre at about 8.10pm on Saturday (July 15).

The man was waiting with his wife at a bus stop outside the Cornmill Centre by the Waterstones entrance where the attack took place after the suspects asked him for a slice of pizza.

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Following the “serious assault”, the man was hospitalised - and Darlington CID has issued an appeal to the public to help find the suspects.

Detective Sergeant Liam Robertson, from Darlington CID is leading the investigation.

He said: “This was an appalling attack which has left a man in hospital with serious injuries.

“We believe several people will have witnessed the incident as it was early evening and the town centre was busy.

“We are also keen to speak to the owner of a small dark blue or purple car that was at the scene, possibly a Hyundai i10 or similar, as they may have information that could help our investigation.

“If you saw what happened or saw the suspects either before or after the incident, then please get in touch.”

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Anyone with any information is asked to call call DS Robertson on 101, extension number 202690, or email him at liam.robertson@durham.police.uk. 

Alternatively, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.