A young black man was smashed in the face with a bottle after a group of white teenagers shouted racial abuse at him and his friends.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the unprovoked attack on the Isle of Dogs which has left the 18-year-old with permanent nerve damage and needing surgery.

On Saturday, August 8, at around 8.45pm, the victim and his friends - all of whom are black - cycled towards the junction with Mast House Terrace in Westferry Road, coming from the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Some of them, including the victim, had cycled ahead stopping near the junction to wait for the rest of their friends to catch up.

At this point a group of about five white men and two women, between 18 and 20 years old, were standing across the road and started shouting abuse, including racist comments. One had a knife and one a whisky bottle.

The group approached the friends and tried to pull one man off his bike, but they managed to escape, running into Spindrift Avenue to get away.

The suspects chased after them and the man with the bottle caught up with the victim between the junctions of Telegraph Place and Barnsdale Avenue where he smashed him in the face with it.

The victim fell backwards and a second man kicked him while he lay on the ground, then running off towards three cars that pulled up - three hatchbacks, one black, one green and one silver, and two suspects got inside.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Alan Henderson, from Limehouse CID, said: “This was an entirely unprovoked attack on the victim who was simply enjoying an evening out with friends.

“It is believed the suspects had been drinking and took the opportunity to not only hurl racist abuse but then attack the victim. He suffered a significant facial injury and has been left with permanent nerve damage.

“We would ask any witnesses or anyone with information to please come forward.”

Contact Limehouse CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.