DETECTIVES investigating an assault that left a 22-year-old man fighting for his life are seeking the public’s help to trace a man who is believed to have been at the scene.

The victim, a young man from Chilton in County Durham, suffered serious head injuries and has not yet regained consciousness following the assault at the Black Lion pub on Front Street in Sedgefield on Boxing Day.

He was initially treated at the University Hospital of North Durham but was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he remains in a “serious and life-threatening” condition.

Police are keen to speak to Tyler Willmott, from the nearby village of Fishburn, about the incident, which occurred shortly after 7pm.

The 26-year-old is believed to have been in the area at the time of the assault but so far officers have been unable to trace him.

Police have not yet released a photo of Mr Willmott.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendant Paul Goundry, said; “We are asking members of the public not to approach Mr Willmott directly but to contact police on 101 if they know of his whereabouts.

“This was an incident which left the victim in a very serious condition. If there is anyone else who saw what happened, or has information which may help our enquiries we would like them to come forward.”