Police are hunting for a gang of thugs who carried out a “disturbing” attack on a man walking his dog.
The victim was attacked by three men on the lane leading between Old Chapel Road and Westfield Gardens in Inverurie at around 8pm on November 16.
As a result of the assault, the man was not seriously hurt, but he did require hospital treatment.
A good samaritan helped the injured man after the attack, with police in the town keen to speak to him. He is in his 40s, around 5ft 9ins tall and was wearing glasses and a dark coloured hat.
Officers are also looking for the other men involved, all described as being tall and of slim build. All were wearing dark clothing.
Councillors have spoken of their disappointment over the incident.
Councillor Lesley Berry said: “I strongly condemn all forms of violence and it’s distressing that such a vicious assault has taken place in Inverurie.
“We are very lucky in Inverurie to have a relatively low crime rate and it’s crucial that those responsible for any crime are caught and suitably punished.
“I would urge anyone who knows anything about this assault to contact the police. I wish the victim a speedy and full recovery.”
Councillor Marion Ewenson said: “This is not the sort of news we expect to hear in Inverurie.
“The lane in question is a quiet walkway which is often used by dog walkers. I am glad the gentleman isn’t seriously injured, but the attack must have been frightening, especially given that there were three people involved.
“I would urge anyone who saw or heard anything to contact the local police on 101.”
And Inverurie and district councillor Neil Baillie said the attack was a “terrible incident” and urged any witnesses to contact police.
He said: “It is disturbing to hear about an assault incident which happened in Inverurie on Monday evening.
“I am sure that Police Scotland are taking this situation very seriously. Fortunately, such incidents happening in our community is far and few between, but with that in mind people should remain vigilant especially as the evenings are darker.
“I would appeal to anyone with any further information about this terrible incident to contact the police.”
Detective Constable Ian Morrison, from Ellon Police Station, said: “The victim did not suffer any serious injuries but did require hospital treatment.
“We are particularly keen to trace a man who assisted the injured man home following the assault.
“This man is described as aged in his forties and around 5ft 9ins tall. He was wearing glasses and a dark coloured hat.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 quoting incident number 3239 of 16 November.
Alternatively, information can be passed via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.