They were trying to steal his bacon sandwich

In the latest in a string of vicious attacks, a young man was left with a black eye after being attacked by a gang of seagulls.

Three aggressive birds swooped on the victim – known only as Richard – in a bid to pinch his bacon butty.

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A similar incident pictured in St. Ives last week

While he tried to defend himself the brazen birds pecked at his face, leaving him with a black eye and in fear of permanent damage to his vision.

Richard, of Newquay, Cornwall, took himself to hospital due to the risk of infection and said the outcome would have been a lot worse if a child had been involved.

He said: “I was walking through Truro at 9.15am. You don’t expect to be attacked by a seagull at any time, but especially not that early in the morning.

“It was very frightening, if this was a child walking to school or enjoying the summer with their parents, goodness knows what sort of damage it could have done.

“You have got the infection risk, as seagulls aren’t the cleanest of animals, but also just in case it did damage my eye.

“It could have affected my sight, it would have only had to be a few millimetres either way and it could have taken my eye out, or severely damaged it.”

Seagulls have seen a lot of media attention over the past few weeks, with a spate of injuries and animal deaths leading everyone from Katie Hopkins to David Cameron demanding something be done about the feathered threat.

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A mock-up of the attacker

The latest attack in Cornwall comes just days after a four-year-old boy was left bleeding in St Ives after one of the antisocial avians tried to pinch his sausage roll, leaving him terrified of birds.

He nearly lost a finger after it was bitten while on holiday with his family.

A terrified pensioner in Helston was also preyed on by a gull gang outside a primary school, leaving her with a large gash on her head and blood pouring down her face.

There has also been a string of yobbish attacks on animals in the county which have left a pet Yorkshire Terrier in Newquay and a tortoise in Liskeard dead.

The seagulls themselves were unavailable for comment.

@thebobpalmer