A MAN suffered a puncture wound to his stomach after he was attacked in Leigh.
The unprovoked attack happened as the victim, 21, and his friend were walking down the canal path from Diamond Street in Leigh at about 2.30am on Tuesday 2 July 2013.
As they approached the bridge at Atherleigh Way, they were confronted by a man who initially asked for a light for a cigarette.
However, as the victim put his hand in his pocket to get one, the offender punched him twice in the stomach and then ran off towards Twist Lane.
It was only later when the victim realised he was experiencing stomach pains that he lifted his T-shirt to reveal a small puncture wound.
An ambulance was called and the police were informed.
The offender is described as white, about 6ft 1in to 6ft 2in tall and of a thin build. He was said to have a slim face with light-coloured short hair, possibly ginger. He was wearing a light-coloured tracksuit and appeared to be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Constable Andrew Partington said: “The offender appeared to be under the influence of either drink or drugs, but whether or not his senses were impaired it should not detract from the very serious nature of this crime.
“It is unclear what sort of weapon was used to cause the puncture wound but the fact is the victim was attacked without any provocation whatsoever and in some senses is fortunate he did not suffer more serious injuries.
“It is therefore imperative we find the offender so I am appealing to anyone who has information to come forward.
“If you were in the area at about the time of this attack or you think you remember someone fitting the offender’s description then we need to hear from you.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7321 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.