A Good Samaritan has spoken of his anger at the yob culture which left him scarred for life after he was slashed across the face while trying to break up a fight.
Businessman Tom Horton was attacked with a kitchen knife when he intervened in a street brawl in Coventry city centre.
The 37-year-old was buying a burger after a night out when he saw the fight, involving a group of teenagers and men in their 20s, and stepped in to try to stop it after spotting one of the gang produce a knife.
However, when he tried to act as peacemaker, he was slashed across the face.
Mr Horton was taken to Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry, and underwent a two-hour operation to repair a deep wound that stretched from one ear, across his cheek, under his nose and on to his other
cheek. The IT consultant, who is single and lives in Coundon, Coventry, said he would hesitate before intervening directly if faced with a repeat situation.
He added: "I was standing next to a burger van and the lads were on the other side of the road.
"How the fight broke out I don't know, I just saw one of the lads pull a knife and I thought someone was going to get seriously hurt, but I didn't think it was going to be me.
"I went over to try to calm it down but as soon as I stepped in I got slashed across the face.
"It all happened so quickly, in 20 seconds it was all over. I think it took a few seconds to even realise I'd been attacked.
"I crossed the road and approached them but before I had said or done anything the lad with the knife turned toward me and slashed my face.
"He then ran off and the other lads called the police and the ambulance while the lady from the burger van applied first aid.
"I think it was a cowardly action, and it turned out that the people I went to help ended up having to help me.
"I had to have a two-hour operation but I was very, very lucky.
"If the wound had been an inch lower, all the nerve endings in my face would have been severed."
He added: "I thought it's out of order walking round town with a serious weapon.
"We have got a right to walk around safely without someone carrying a knife.
"It's getting more and more common. Stabbings seem to have become completely commonplace. I feel furious that society's in this position."
Mr Horton said that after the attack he regretted having tried to stop the fight but did not want the thugs to win.
He said: "I thought I was pretty stupid to intervene in the first place. But now it's just made me angry that you can't go around town safely.
"I want to stand up for victims of crime who are scared to go out.
"It is hard to say if I would step in again, I would probably think twice before doing it. I think I would just call the police."
He added that he was planning to start a campaign against street violence and anti-social behaviour.
Police made a number of arrests after the incident. A knife was recovered and was being forensically examined.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "We received a call at 2.45am on January 14 to a man who had received cuts to his face.
"He was admitted to hospital and had since been released.
"Four men were arrested on suspicion of assault. They have all been released pending further inquiries."