Man attacked in row over lighter in Croydon

East Croydon tram stop
Image caption The man was attacked at East Croydon rail station tram stop

A man has suffered life-threatening head injuries after being attacked by youths for not giving them a lighter.

The 32-year-old was assaulted at East Croydon rail station tram stop in south London, in front of his mother and girlfriend in the early hours.

A British Transport Police spokesman said he was assaulted a group of five youths who left him unconscious.

Two youths, aged 14 and 17, were arrested nearby on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and robbery.

'Vicious and brutal'

The victim, from Norbury, south London, remains is hospital.

Det Sgt Bob Stokoe said: "This was a vicious and brutal attack on a man who had absolutely no chance of defending himself.

"We've launched an investigation into the attack and are making local inquiries, including viewing CCTV, to try and piece together exactly what took place."

He said officers will be at the tram stop on Saturday evening to appeal for witnesses.

The two arrested youths, who are from Wimbledon, south-west London, remain in police custody.

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