THREE friends suffered sickening injuries after being kicked and punched in the face as they intervened to stop yobs screaming obscenities at terrified women.
The good Samaritans were left battered and bruised in the shadow of Chester's Eastgate clock - another statistic in the list of violent attacks and stabbings which is causing nationwide revulsion.
Phil Robinson, 38, one of the have-a-go heroes, was left with a broken nose and severe concussion.
He is suffering dizzy spells and breathing problems following a Friday night out with pals to mark the safe return of a friend who served with the Territorials in Iraq.
After leaving city centre bar Living Room at 1.30am Phil spotted three yobs shouting obscene abuse at two 'frightened' women outside Grosvenor shopping centre.
Phil, who is from the Chester area and has a four-year-old son, said: 'I crossed the road, not in an aggressive manner, they were only about 25, and I just thought they had too much to drink. I said what's going on? Why are you shouting abuse?
'While I was talking to one lad this other lad came to the back and side of me and smacked the back of my head with his fist.'
Phil, who is 6ft 1in tall, was knocked unconscious before his Polish companion Matthew Skylanny, 23, had time to react.
'Matt said he kicked my head like a goalie kicks a football,' Phil added.
The second assailant threw a glass towards his head, which luckily missed, but then joined in with the kicking frenzy. The third male was not involved.
When Matt, who was on his first night out in Chester, intervened, the original attacker thumped him and broke his cheek and orbital bone and he had to have a metal plate inserted into his face.
The assailants fled but one of Phil's other friends, who is in his 40s, called police and followed the trio to Abbey taxis in Foregate Street. On challenging them he was again poleaxed with a thump and then kicked in the head causing a number of fractures to his face.
Phil said: 'These lads were out for trouble that night. There's no doubt about it.'
Asked if he would play the role of good Samaritan in future, he said: 'Probably not, unless there was something going on like an assault on a girl. I would just watch from a distance.'
Witnesses to the May 6 incident are asked to call Detective Constable Dave Cannell on 01244 616007 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Help us to rid the streets of knife crime > > >
Help us to rid the streets of knife crime
POLICE are encouraging the public to take advantage of Cheshire's knife amnesty to reduce violent crime.
Despite a recent stabbing in Hoole, police say the campaign is already working, with numerous blades and other
By Liza Williams the amnesty and have been dropping dangerous weapons into our bin. dangerous weapons handed in. The national amnesty runs from May 24 - June 30.
Inspector Mel Williams said: 'People are taking advantage of
'We encourage people to carry on taking advantage of the amnesty, as people found with these weapons in the future will be dealt with severely.'
The number of knife related incidents recorded by Cheshire police last year topped 700.
Knives can be disposed of at police stations in Chester Town Hall, Blacon, Frodsham and Ellesmere Port.