Manhunt launched after seagull attacked with cricket bat in Lyme Regis

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Police are hunting a man who reportedly attacked a seagull with a cricket bat in a Dorset seaside town.

The man allegedly swung at the bird on Marine Parade in Lyme Regis around 3.50pm on Sunday 17 July.

The animal suffered a broken wing and had to be put down, Dorset Police said.

The attack took place near Poco Pizza while the beachfront was busy with visitors, including many children, the force said.

The suspect was described as white, aged in his 50s and about 5ft 10in tall.

He is said to have spoken with a South African accent and was wearing a Jim Beam-branded T-shirt and a grey hat.

Police Constable Josh Hurwood, of West Dorset police, said: "This was a distressing incident for people to have witnessed, with many young families in the area at the time and we are carrying out an investigation, with support from the RSPCA, to identify the man involved.

"This occurred on the seafront at a busy time of day, and we are appealing for anyone who saw what happened, or who has any information relating to the man's identity, to please come forward."

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "We are working with police to investigate this incident. Sadly, a gull was seriously injured and had to be put to sleep.

"Anyone with first-hand information about what happened should contact police or the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 55220115158.

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