Man Attacked After Row Over Train Seat

A man's been left with facial injuries after being punched at a train station in Hampshire, following a row over a seat.

British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed the assault at Basingstoke station.

The incident took place outside the station forecourt on Thursday 23 May around 6.25pm, shortly after the victim and the attacker both left the same train.

Detective Constable Matt Bevan, leading the investigation, explained:

"The victim, a 36-year-old man from Hampshire, was verbally abused whilst leaving the station by the suspect, after the two men had became involved in a minor seating dispute. Both men had previously travelled on-board the 5.39pm South West Train service from London Waterloo.

"Both men left the train at Basingstoke where the man continued to insult the victim as they walked out of the station's main entrance.

"He then proceeded to grab hold of the victim's right arm and shake him forcefully before punching him once in the left side of the his face, causing the victim to bleed profusely.

"The attacker then ran from the scene in the direction of the shopping mall opposite the station."

After the victim had his injuries assessed at hospital, he was found to have a small hole cut through his left cheek, which required treatment.

The suspect is a white man in his 50s, around 5' 8", of a stocky build but with a slim face. The top of his head was bald with shaved grey hair around the sides, a clear complexion and no obvious tattoos or scars. He wore a white shirt with thin red strips, a blue/grey jacket and trousers, black shoes and was not carrying anything at the time of the assault.

DC Bevan added:

"This was a violent and unprovoked attack on an unsuspecting member of the public simply trying to make his way home.

"Everyone has the right to travel on the rail network without fear of becoming a victim of violence, and although they are rare, we take incidents of this nature very seriously.

"Officers are now making local enquiries and checking CCTV footage from the area to identify the man in question."

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting background log B5/LSA of 28/05/2013. Alternatively, contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

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