A GANG punched a man in the stomach then stabbed him in a violent street robbery in Astley Bridge - just to steal his mobile phone.

The three men approached the 32-year-old in Astley Lane - known locally as 'The Mop' - between 9.45pm and 10pm on Thursday February 13.

One of the men removed the victim’s headphones and as he turned around he punched him in the face causing him to fall the ground.

As he stood up, one of the men then stabbed him in the stomach.

They searched his pockets and took his mobile phone before running away up a track towards Wolfenden Street.

The man was taken to hospital and was treated for his injuries before being released.

Police have released an e-fit image of one of the men and are appealing for information and witnesses.

Det Sgt Rob Parker said: “This was a nasty, unprovoked attack for a mobile phone but thankfully the man is recovering from his injuries.

“The victim only managed to get a good view of one of the offenders and from this we have managed to put together an image. We would urge anyone who recognises the man or who has any information about who was involved to call police.

“We have had extra patrols in the area but would ask if anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously in the area that they contact police immediately.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5761 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.