Several early-hours onlookers are being asked to come forward

SEVERAL people who may have witnessed a brutal, early hours beating on a young man in Church Street are being urged to come forward by detectives.

Newly released CCTV footage captures the sustained attack that left the 19-year-old with severe head and facial injuries.

Partly pixellated, it shows how the teenager was walking down Church Street, between Primark and Marks and Spencer, at around 4.10am on Thursday, 16 February, when he stopped to speak to a group of women he knew.

As he did so, say Merseyside Police, two men walked past and one made a comment about one of the women.

When the teenager challenged him, both males attacked him, knocking him to the floor before running away.

The victim suffered severe injuries to his head and face and has since had to undergo treatment in hospital.

The video shows a number of people in Church Street at the time of the assault and detectives say they may have information which could assist with the investigation.

Detective Inspector Martha Allbutt said: “Even though it was the early hours of the morning we know from the CCTV footage that Church Street was busy at the time, with lots of people making their way home from a night out in the city. "We believe that a number of people would have seen the teenager and the group of women he stopped to speak to and may have vital information which could help us to progress our investigation. I’m also sure if you witnessed this assault you would remember it.

“I would appeal to anyone who recognises themselves from the footage to come forward and speak to us. Any information, no matter how small could assist us in identifying those responsible.

“I would also like to reassure members of the public that Liverpool is a safe place to live, visit and socialise and we are committed to tracing anyone who commits offences in Merseyside so that they can be brought to justice.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 4065 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.