A MAN was left with a broken neck after being set upon by a gang of thugs on the way home from the pub.

Brian McKay, 58, had been drinking in the Last Post, in Weston Road, Southend, when he left at about 9pm on December 16.

He reached the junction of The Grove and North Avenue but was attacked by up to three men.

He was battered unconscious and left with a broken neck, two missing teeth and a badly injured left eye.

Mr McKay now needs to wear a ‘halo’ protective head brace for six months after having four bolts inserted into his skull.

He has also had reconstructive surgery to his eye socket.

Investigating officer Det Con Paul Gutteridge, of Southend CID, said: "This was a nasty incident that left a man with very serious injuries, from which he is still recovering from.

"He was unable to give a description of his attackers, but someone will know what happened and who was involved and I am appealing for anyone with information to please come forward.”

Mr McKay was found by members of the public, who contacted emergency services.

Friends took to social media after claims that Essex Police had failed to follow up the assault and had decided to “close the case”.

Posting on Facebook, Amy-Lynn Ferguson said: “He left The Last Post in Southend, at around 7pm on December 16, to walk home.

“When he reached North Street he was attacked by about four youths, who left him unconscious, with a broken neck, 2 missing teeth and a disfigured left eye. He could of easily been killed.”

She added: “Essentially, an unprovoked attack has occurred and not enough has been done about it, in my opinion.”

An Essex Police spokesman said the case is not closed and officers are still investigating the incident.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Det Con Gutteridge on 101.

Alternatively, they can contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken and information cannot be traced.