A PAIR of knife thugs who slashed a man in the face during a daylight robbery outside a church were today being hunted by police.
The 34-year-old victim suffered cuts to his face and arms after struggling with the knife-wielding robbers who struck as he climbed the steps beside Bathgate High Church.
The victim was left traumatised by the attack in the town’s Jarvey Street, and needed treatment to his injuries at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.
Detectives today said they were not linking the robbery to other incidents, but appealed for help in tracing the suspects.
Officers also urged a Good Samaritan who went to the aid of the bleeding victim to come forward.
The victim was attacked by two men while a third man, who was with them, is also being sought following the attack between 1.20pm and 1.35pm on Thursday.
The robbers made off with a sum of cash from the victim.
Detective Constable Krista Tench, from Livingston CID, said: “The victim was walking home and had taken a shortcut on the steps next to the church when he was approached. It was a completely unprovoked and quite violent daylight attack by strangers.
“The victim had seen the three men together, but he was approached by two of them while the other man hung back. Both of these men presented knives at him and demanded his possessions.
“Some sort of struggle ensued and the victim suffered injuries to his face and arms, which needed hospital treatment. He has been left shocked by what has happened.”
The first suspect is described as white, 5ft 10in tall with a medium build and short greying hair. He was wearing blue jeans and dark brown Timberland boots.
The second is white, 6ft tall with dirty blond hair. He was wearing a dark blue tracksuit and trainers.
DC Tench added: “We’re looking for any witnesses who might have been in the area at the time to come forward. People may also have seen these men hanging around suspiciously before the incident.”
Councillor Frank Anderson, West Lothian Council’s community safety leader, said: “It’s quite astonishing that this attack happened in the middle of the day and in a central location.”