A blood stain marks the spot a defenceless dad was knocked unconscious by a group of cowardly yobs who stole his phone and keys.
The 59-year-old is believed to have been attacked from behind by a number of offenders, who left him bleeding on the ground in the early hours of Saturday morning.
In a bid to identify the assailants, Stephen’s son Michael has turned detective whilst his dad recovers at home.
The 32-year-old said: “They have given him a hell of a kicking. It’s really shook him up. I’m not going to sit back and do nothing.”
Stephen and Michael, who run a courier business together, had been for a drink at Armstrong’s Bar, on Stanhope Road, before the attack happened.
The father and son went their separate ways after midnight, with Stephen setting off for the short walk back to his partner’s home.
But before he could get home he was attacked from behind, says Michael.
“He’s come across KFC car park and felt a thud to the back of his head,” said Michael.
“He can’t remember much after that. They stole his phone and his vehicle keys.
“He wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was just walking home minding his own business.
“They have obviously just thought he was easy prey because he was on his own.”
“We think he woke up about 10 minutes later and struggled to his partners.
Stephen went to hospital where it was confirmed he had a fractured eye socket and he was given stitches to repair the injuries.
Michael found out what had happened to his dad the following morning.
And while police have launched an investigation, the angry son has also visited the scene of the attack and asked local people whether they have any information, or CCTV that might help identify who is responsible.
He also found a trail of blood at the spot where his dad was attacked.
“I got a phone call in the morning and I just went up there and I got a shock when I seen him,” said Michael.
“I have been to see if anybody has any CCTV. I have asked people to keep their eyes and ears open.”
Police have also appealed for witnesses.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “An investigation has been launched following a report of an assault in the Halstead Place area of South Shields.
“A man was walking home at about 1am on September 25 when he was assaulted by a group of males, who then ran off.
“The victim suffered facial injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
“Enquiries are ongoing into the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.”