A university professor is recovering after he was beaten up outside a punk gig.

He was attacked outside The Damned’s concert at Komedia in Gardner Street, Brighton.

The 44-year-old said that as he lay battered and bruised on the ground, he was told by door staff: “What do you expect? It’s Brighton.”

The lecturer, who asked not to be named because he is terrified he could be targeted again, was ejected from the gig on Sunday night.

He said he was thrown out after bouncers mistook him for someone who had headbutted a woman in the venue.

The lecturer, who lives in Brighton but works in London, said: “I’m not in the habit of headbutting anyone, let alone a young lady.”

As he waited outside for his girlfriend to join him, he noticed some men milling around and called the police because he suspected they were about to start trouble, thinking he was responsible for the attack.

He said: “A lot of guys just jumped on top of me. They were punching and kicking me as I was flat on my back on the floor.”

Police last night confirmed they were investigating the assault but said they had not yet managed to identify any of the attackers.

A Komedia spokeswoman said she could not comment on the case because it was in the hands of the police but said violence was not a part of nightlife at the venue.

She said: “You do not expect it if you come to Komedia.”

Inspector Bill Whitehead, of Sussex Police, said trouble in the city centre had fallen so much there were now only one or two violent incidents a week. He said: “Five years ago I would say that the comments about violence were reasonable.

“Brighton and Hove is a safe place to go out and have a good time.

“All the work done around the night-time economy by police, licensed premises and responsible door supervisor firms has really cut the numbers of calls, particularly more serious incidents.”

Anyone with information should contact Sussex Police on 0845 6070999 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.