The force isn't strong with this one...

A BATTERED and bruised Star Wars fan hopes the "force" of West Yorkshire Police will help recover his expensive replica lightsaber after he was mugged.

The new decade got off to a bad start for the victim, who was dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, when he was attacked by four youths while making his way home from a New Year's Eve fancy dress party.

The 37-year-old accounts manager was grabbed as he trekked home from the Brudenell Social Club along Queens Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, between 1.30am and 2am on New Year's Day.

As he passed the Harolds streets area he was pinned against a wall and punched and kicked to the ground from behind by four youths.

After delivering the brutal beating the cowardly yobs stole the rare Master Replica FX "lightsaber" which could cost as much as 300 to replace.

The distinctive collectors' item features a long illuminated tube with a handle which produces sound effects and can normally only be bought over the Internet. Obi, who does not want to reveal his real name, told the YEP that he could not remember hearing any warning or demands from his attackers before the beating.

He said: "I just found myself on the ground being kicked.

"After they had gone I remember being helped up by a couple and being asked if I was alright.

"I probably should have gone to a hospital A and E unit, but I went to the doctor's and he reckoned I had lost a pint or two of blood through the bruising."

He added: "I managed to cover my head, otherwise if they had hit my head with their kicks I would have been in a shocking state.

"I have a fairly resilient nature and it won't make me turn into a hermit. But the shock has come out in the last couple of days."

He said that he understood another group of people who attended the same party had also been assaulted and robbed by a gang making their way home at about 4am.

A North West Leeds Police spokesman confirmed detectives were investigating the possibility of a link between this assault and the later one.

The muggers were described as Asian and in their teens.

Officers are particularly keen to trace a white man and woman, aged in their twenties, who went to the victim's aid and are believed to live locally.

Witnesses should contact Det Con Alex Cullen at Weetwood police station via 0845 6060606 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.

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