A MAN was smashed over the head with a glass bottle and stamped on in a row over parking.

The 63-year-old was assaulted in Preston Park in Brighton after confronting a couple about parking their car on the grass.

Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which took place at 6.30pm on Thursday.

The victim, who suffered serious cuts to his head, told police he tried to speak to the man about parking on the grass but as he turned to walk away his attacker hit him over the head with a bottle and stamped on his head when he fell to the ground.

His attacker got into the passenger seat of a silver Ford Fiesta and the woman drove it away.

The car was parked within the grounds of Preston Park in the north-easterly corner near the cricket pitch.

Sue Shepherd, deputy chairwoman for Friends of Preston Park, said parking was not allowed within the ground of the park but described the incident as “terrible”.

She said: “The only vehicles that are allowed to enter the park are cars with disabled badges, the emergency services, the vans that stock the cafes and the parks vehicles.

“Friends of Preston Park have been keen to get this problem resolved before there is a bad accident and look what's happened.

“We feel very sorry for the victim in this case - it's terrible.”

Ms Shepherd added the incident would put people off confronting illegal parkers in the future.

She said: “People shouldn't be put in a position to feel they have to confront drivers who are parking illegally - the problem should be eradicated well before it gets to that stage and then this sort of thing wouldn't have to happen.

“I quite understand why people would be put off approaching someone about it having suffered a bad experience in doing it myself.”

The attacker has been described as white, about 6ft and muscular and was wearing grey shorts and a luminous green or yellow t-shirt.

Detective Constable Shirley White said: "I need to speak to anyone who was in or around Preston Park on Thursday evening and saw or heard any of what happened.

"The victim has suffered very nasty injuries which could have been far more serious if he had not been helped by other people in the park after the attack.

"If you know anything at all please contact us."

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent.

He was questioned before being released on bail until July 9.

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1228 of 15/5, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.