A MOTHER has told how a night out in York with her son ended with him being knocked unconscious in a McDonald’s restaurant.

Kathleen Harron said she turned round from the counter to see her son Phil Taylor laid out cold in a pool of blood, after he had been punched in the face and fallen to the floor.

“He had a gash to the back of his head and I was panicking,” said Kathleen, 38, of Etty Avenue, Tang Hall.

“It all happened so quick. There was no pulse at first and I didn’t know what to think.

“I was told that from CCTV footage he was knocked out before his head even hit the floor.

“A member of staff came from behind the counter to help him. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t done that. He was fantastic and we’ve since been back to thank him personally.

“The police and ambulance turned up, and Phil was put on a stretcher and I went with him as he was taken to hospital, where they glued the gash.”

She said she had managed to punch her son’s attacker before he ran out of the city centre restaurant in Blake Street in the direction of Betty’s, in St Helen’s Square.

She appealed for anyone with information which could help police catch the assailant to contact the force immediately.

“Phil, who has learning difficulties, survived but the next person he hits might not be so lucky,” she said.

“The staff said it was best for me not to see the CCTV footage they had of the attack as it was one of the most brutal they had seen.”

She thought the attacker might have been a soldier on a night out from one of the bases in York or North Yorkshire.

Phil, 20, a Hull College art and design student who has been spending the holidays at his mother’s home, said they had been enjoying a good night out with a friend on Wednesday, December 20, and the early hours of Thursday, December 21, when the attack happened.

He said they had visited Flares, Popworld and Blue Fly before going to McDonald’s for something to eat at about 5am.

He said a man had started talking to him in the area to the left of the counter, saying something about having returned recently from Afghanistan, and he had said something back.

The next thing he knew he was waking up in hospital. He said he had since suffered from headaches but had refused to let the attack prevent him going out in town to celebrate New Year.

Police have urged anyone recognising a man in the image captured on CCTV to phone 101, select option two and ask for Hanneke Hart or email PC Hart on Hanneke.Hart@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

A force spokesman said yesterday: “There have been no arrests to date and the appeal still stands, with nothing further to add at this stage.”