Soldier’s jaw broken in town centre attack

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A soldier’s jaw was smashed after he was brutally attacked on a night out in an apparently motiveless assault.

Kingsman Ben Gratton, 19, who has served in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, was left needing surgery after he was hit in the jaw while eating a takeaway following a night out in Blackpool.

He had been celebrating a friend being accepted for Army training before buying food from the El Groucho takeaway, on the corner of Dickson Road and Queen Street, in Blackpool, next to the Kaos nightclub. It was then his

assailant hit him on the jaw from behind.

Kingsman Gratton, from Gynn Square, North Shore, said: “I don’t really know much of what happened.

“I was in the takeaway eating cheesy chips when some guy just flew in and hit me.

“I was shook up but it didn’t knock me out, I had to have an operation on it.”

After the incident, which happened some time between 3am and 5am on Saturday March 8, Kingsman Gratton had to have treatment at the Royal Preston Hospital for his injuries.

He had been on weekend leave from his base at Catterick in Yorkshire, when the attack happened, and has been off work recovering ever since.

He added: “I’ve no idea who attacked me but he’s got a cracking punch on him.

“There’s not a lot more I can say because I don’t know what the guy looked like.

“We don’t really know what happened.”

Enquiries are ongoing into the incident.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “The victim was in a takeaway and was punched in the face from behind causing a broken jaw.

“The offender then made off and there is no description available.

“On Monday an officer went round to speak to the victim and kept them aware that enquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information should call 101.