STUDENT Joe Scaife was left with dreadful injuries to his jaw after being punched by a thug in an unprovoked attack.
Joe, 20, suffered two fractures and needed surgery to have two metal plates fitted after the beating as he returned from a night out.
He has been left in constant pain and has to wear a metal brace for six weeks until his jaw heals and means he can only eat food like soups.
Joe, of Beech Close, Kilburn, was on the way home from a night out with pals when he was punched in the face by a thug along Ripley’s Greenway.
He is due to start a journalism course in Bristol in September and had been enjoying drinks with three friends at the Out of Town pub, on Butterley Hill near the town centre.
After leaving the pub to head home, The group took a short-cut along the Greenway bridle path, which is popular with dog walkers during the day, to head back to one of his friends’ home on Bamford Street in Ripley.
The group remember passing a gang of around 20 youths along the way, all aged between 18 and 22, when one hooded youth began to follow them, they said.
Joe told the News that without provocation, the thug ‘floored’ him with a punch to the right hand side of his face.
He did not get a look at his attacker and nothing was stolen, he said.
Joe said: “The rest of the gang just burst out into laughter. I just got up as quickly as I could.
“When I got up there was just blood streaming out of my mouth.
“I tried not to take too much notice of who hit me, I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.”
Joe said at first his jaw felt numb, despite the bleeding. When he finally returned home he attempted to sleep with the aid of painkillers.
But realising the problem could be much worse, his mother took him to the accident and emergency department of Derby Royal Hospital in the city.
At first doctors thought hisjaw was simply bruised, but a scan revealed, Joe, the youngest of three brothers, needed emergency surgery.
The scan revealed to doctprs that Joe had a double fracture and he had to be fitted two metal plates into his bottom jaw.
He will need to wear the metal brace for the next six weeks to prevent further damage.
It means he cannot chew food until the fractures heal.
Joe said: “The swelling has gone down a little now and the pain is just stopping.
“But I’m afraid to show my teeth to anyone as I’ve got so much metal in my mouth now.
“If I could say anything to the guy that did this it would be just think twice, because one day this may happen to you and then he will realise what it feels like to be the victim.”
Police are trying to trace witnesses to the assault which happened at 11pm on Friday, July 22. One of Joe’s friends described the culprit as white, 6ft tall, slim and wearing a blue and grey hooded-top.
If have any information contact police on 0345 123 3333.