A man has lost his fight for life after being attacked by a gang of teenagers outside his local corner shop.
Chris Poole died in hospital last night after suffering serious head injuries during the brutal assault in Eastbourne on Thursday.
He was viciously punched and kicked after being set upon by the gang outside the Premier convenience store in the Hydneye area.
Three teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Tributes have been paid to Mr Poole by his family, who described him as “a lovely man”.
His partner Penny said: "I'm devastated by the loss of a best friend and my soulmate, also the great father figure to all our children.
"You'll always be in my heart and I love you forever."
His mother Diane said: "Chris was a great and loving son, brother to devastated Rick, lover of wild birds and animals and a friend to anyone.
"Chris attended Ratton School and was an excellent gymnast and always kept himself fit.
"Such a waste of a lovely young man who gave such a lot to so many and who was loved so dearly by us all."
A 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remain in police custody this afternoon.
A 13-year-old boy, who was also arrested on suspicion of murder, has been released on police bail until 3 September, pending further enquiries.
Detective Inspector Wendy Burton, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: "It's so tremendously sad that this man has died, an absolute tragedy. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family.
"We are doing all we can to learn about what happened that night, the circumstances that led to this attack and now his untimely death.
"I would appeal to anyone who was in the area last night and who may have any information, however small, to come forward. They should call 101 quoting Operation Delaware or anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."