Detectives are appealing for witnesses to a series of street assaults in Colchester town centre which has left a man critically ill in hospital.

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Police said the seemingly random attacks happened within a matter of minutes of each other at 2am today on Queen Street when officers, who were on routine patrol, were flagged down by a late-night reveller who alerted them to a man being treated by paramedics.

Officers arrived and found a 25-year-old man with a serious head injury.

Inquiries at the scene led officers to a nearby fast-food outlet on High Street and there they arrested a 21-year-old man, of no fixed address, on suspicion of assault. He is currently being questioned by detectives at Colchester police station.

Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Simon Werrett, said: “We have reviewed CCTV and this shows three separate incidents on Queen Street – an assault outside The Silk Road nightclub, a further assault outside Subway and then the final one further down Queen Street.

“We would like to speak to the victims of the first two assaults or witnesses to these incidents.”

The victim from the third assault was taken by paramedics to Colchester General Hospital, but later transferred to Romford’s Queens Hospital where he is in a critical condition.

Anyone with information in connection with these assaults is urged to contact detectives at Colchester police station on 101.