Essex

Man, 31, set alight in Waltham Abbey Gardens attack

Waltham Abbey grounds Image copyright Malc McDonald/Geograph
Image caption The man was set alight while walking through Waltham Abbey Gardens, described as "peaceful" on a visitor website

A man has suffered serious burns after being covered in an unknown substance and set alight, police have said.

A 31-year-old man was walking through Waltham Abbey Gardens in Essex at 08:00 BST on Saturday when he was approached by a group of men.

They threw over him an "unidentified substance" according to police and then set him ablaze.

Detectives have said it was not yet understood why the man was targeted and it was a "fast-moving investigation".

The victim, believed to be from the area, went to hospital after making his own way to a nearby friend's house, where an ambulance was called.

He is now being treated for "serious burns" at an undisclosed hospital, said police.

Det Insp Jim Adams, of Essex Police, who is leading the inquiry, said: "We are making extensive enquiries in the area to find out exactly where and why this assault happened.

He added that any witnesses to the attack or any suspicious activity beforehand should contact officers.

The victim has described his attackers as being of "Turkish appearance".

Police said forensic tests are being carried out to identify the substance thrown over the man.

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