This is how my night out ended up at thugs' hands in Bath
A Bath businessman has spoken of the horrific moment when a vicious assault left him with a ruptured kidney and internal bleeding.
Young entrepreneur Rupert Samuel had been out with friends in the city when they were set upon by a group of men in what he says was an unprovoked attack.
Rupert, who runs the Italian Bag Company in Northumberland Place, had been at the Second Bridge nightclub in Manvers Street celebrating a new business opportunity on the night of the attack by four men.
He was also left with a black eye, bruises to his body and face, and a cut lip which had to be sewn up by plastic surgeons.
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The 21-year-old from Bathwick said: "We were just walking home and we got near the taxi rank near the abbey then these guys started giving us earache and a bit of banter, we gave some back, then they started following us."
He said he and his friends decided to head for his shop but the men followed.
"We decided to go to one of the shops where we could lie low but they followed us and surrounded us as we tried to get into the door."
It was while he and his friends were trying to enter the shop that another friend, 19-year-old Sam Lewis, arrived, saw the disturbance and tried to defuse the situation.
Sam, who is studying sport science at the University of Bath, said: ."I tried to defuse the situation and say come on guys, move away. I don't know how I got off so lightly.
"I was just sticking up for a friend but it was scary how quickly it escalated."
Sam suffered a dislocated thumb, bruised ribs and a sore neck in the assault.
Rupert was beaten to the ground and had to spend several days at the Royal United Hospital. Despite being discharged, he was rushed back in within hours after his kidney ruptured because of his injuries. He is now home but confined to bed rest.
Rupert's mum Frances is keen for witnesses to the attack to come forward.
She said: "There were people in the street and maybe reading what happened might jog their memory."
The mum of four also thanked the staff at the RUH.
"You couldn't compare the level of care there. The nurses were fantastic."
PC Stuart Durrant has appealed for any witness to come forward.
He said: "The level of violence used in this assault was unnecessary and it will not be tolerated in the city. I would appeal to anyone who has any information to come forward and contact us so the offenders are brought to justice."
He added: "Incidents like this in Bath are very rare, the city is a safe place to come to and people should be able to enjoy their nights out."
Any witnesses to the assault, which took place at around 3.10am on Sunday, October 14, or who may have been approached by a group of four men around the same time, should contact PC Durrant at Bath Police Station on 101.