Updated: A MAN remains in a coma after a suspected hammer attack in York.

A police spokesman said the 45-year-old local man suffered serious head injuries.

The victim was spotted by a member of the public lying on the ground at the former Bubbles car wash in Lawrence Street at about 6.35pm on Tuesday.

Paramedics found the man had been badly beaten and had serious head injuries.

Two men, aged 56 and 47, and a 45-year-old woman, all believed to be from the area, were arrested at the scene.

All three have since been released, and a police spokesman said they faced no further action.

A 25-year-old woman was arrested at 12.20am yesterday at Lady Peckett’s Yard, off Fossgate.

She was released on police bail late last night.

The scene at Lawrence Street was cordoned off and guarded by police officers well into yesterday afternoon and a search team of seven police officers worked throughout the day between the two sites, and searched bins, alleyways, and the cemetery at St Denys’ Church, in Walmgate.

The police spokesman said officers from the search team found a hammer, which they believed could have been used in the attack, and which was taken away for forensic testing, but he could not confirm exactly where it had been discovered.

Kevin Horner, 61, was in the Tam O’Shanter pub in Lawrence Street on Tuesday night. He said: “Someone came in and said there were a lot of officers in white suits, who were leaving the scene at about 9pm.

“You get some people coming through this area, and can get some drunks, but I’ve never seen anything like this. I feel safe around here, this is very out of the ordinary.”

Police released the 45-year-old woman and the 47-year-old man from custody at about 3.45pm yesterday, and said no further action would be taken against them, but the 56-year-old man and 25-year-old woman both remained in police custody at the time of going to press.

Inspector Ian Dyer, of York CID, said: “I am appealing to anyone who knows anything about this incident to come forward.

“A man is seriously ill in hospital and we need to establish how he came to sustain his injuries. I am urging anyone who witnessed the assault or was in the Walmgate or Lawrence Street areas between 5pm and 7pm on Tuesday, 27 March, to get in touch with the police or Crimestoppers.”

Anyone with information which could assist police with their inquiries should contact them on 101, option two for York CID, or phone Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, quoting reference number 12120048759.