A CCTV image has been released of three men police need help to identify after a man with Asperger’s was the victim of a “violent” assault in Bournemouth town centre.

The 21-year-old was verbally abused about his disability and then assaulted by a group of men at the Inside London Market convenience store on Old Christchurch Road at around 1.25am on February 14.

The victim ran out of the store, up Old Christchurch Road and attempted to get into a taxi, but one of the suspects followed him and grabbed him by the throat.

Police said the victim then ran past Vodka Revolution and back into the store where he was followed by the suspects and further assaulted before a member of security from a nearby club went to his assistance.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to a small lump on his head and concussion.

Police Constable Josh Benoke, of Bournemouth police, said: “This was an unprovoked, sustained and violent assault on a vulnerable man, which has understandably caused great upset to him and his family. I would urge anyone with any information to please come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55190024475. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.