A man has been left with a significant wound after being slashed near the throat with a knife while trying to help another man in Banbridge, Co Down.

Police have branded the incident “totally reckless and brutal” and said it could have had “devastating consequences”.

The serious assault happened in the Scarva Street area of the town between 2am and 3am on Sunday, but details have just emerged.

“It’s believed the victim was attacked when going to the assistance of another man, who was lying on the ground,” PSNI Constable Scott said.

“The victim was grabbed, when bending down, and attacked with a knife. He has sustained a significant cut, across and just under his jawline, which may have been caused by a Stanley knife.”

The victim needed stitches, but his condition is not life-threatening.

“The man, understandably, remains badly shaken from this disturbing ordeal,” Constable Scott said.

Two to three men are said to have been behind the attack.

Police are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with information, to contact them on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800555 111.