A MAN left with two black eyes after being violently attacked by a group of men said he thought he was going to die as witnesses "stood by and watched".

Sean Scard, from Salisbury, was taken to hospital by police after being beaten up on New Canal in the early hours of Sunday morning in what he described as a "traumatic experience".

He needed scans of his brain, skull and spine and stayed in hospital for twelve hours before doctors discharged him, but he has been signed off work indefinitely because of his injuries.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said a taxi driver called 999 after seeing a group of eight or nine men fighting outside the Odeon just before 4am on Sunday morning.

Four men in their twenties, all from Larkhill, were arrested and have been released under caution pending further investigation.

Sean, aged 27, told the Journal he had been at a family party at the cattle market before going into town on Saturday night.

In the early hours, he met two men in the Kandi Lounge bar on Catherine Street, and got talking to them, including buying a drink for one of the men after he gave Sean a cigarette.

They left and walked towards the taxi rank at New Canal together, and two more men joined them.

Sean said the men told him they were in the military and based in Plymouth.

But the group turned on Sean and began to attack him outside the Odeon, he says.

"I don't know if I said anything, or what provoked it, I haven't a clue," Sean said. "There were at least five guys there."

The fight moved from outside the cinema, into the road and then across to the taxi rank opposite.

Sean said he was "knocked out" three times and said: "I got back up, but they must have attacked me again".

He said there were "15 or 20 people stood there" who did nothing to stop the assault.

"I just couldn't believe everybody stood there and watched," he said. "Even the taxi drivers, none of them got involved.

"If I had seen that I would have stepped in, whether I knew them or not.

"It was horrible."

Sean said the attack ended when the men "jumped in a silver taxi and headed out of town" and police who arrived at the scene rushed him to hospital.

He cannot return to work as a lorry driver as he is still suffering from dizzy spells and can't fully open one eye.

Sean said he also has bruised arms and legs and a large bump on the back of his head from hitting the pavement.

"It's just upsetting, it makes you a bit worried about going into town again.

"These things happen, you just don't expect them to happen to you.

"To be covered in blood and stuck in a stretcher makes you think you are going to die - it was very scary.

"I'm just glad it wasn't a knife attack."

Sean is asking any witnesses of the attack to get in touch with police by calling 101.