Police are appealing for witnesses after an early hours attack in Seaham which left a man in hospital.
Officers were called to The Avenue at about 5.55am on Saturday after a man in his 40s was assaulted.
Police say he had returned from a night out when he intervened in a row between three other men.
He was then attacked by two men and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital after being what police described as ‘badly assaulted’.
They are still hunting for the two men believed to be responsible for the attack.
A spokesman for Seaham and Easington Police said: “Two males have then attacked and badly assaulted the victim.
“The victim is in hospital.
“The two males responsible for the assault are described as white males and stocky build.”
Inquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for any witnesses or those involved in any part of the incident to make contact.
People can call Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency 101 number and give the incident number DHM-21112015-0110.