POLICE have arrested two people in connection with a "hate crime" assault in Breightmet which has left a mother fighting for her life.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated GBH and racially aggravated assault.

A 26-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault. She has since been released without charge.

Both were arrested in the Breightmet area and remain in custody for questioning.

The woman was assaulted when she intervened after an attack on her son in the street. The 15-year-old was hit and his attacker made a racial slur, say police.

The 39-year-old woman was on her way to a bus stop in Padbury Way, Bolton with her two young daughters and son when the assault happened.

While passing a man in the street, it is believed comments were made to the son and words were exchanged. The attacker then used a racial slur before hitting the teenage boy.

While attempting to intervene, the mother was also assaulted.

A woman was also reported to be involved in the assault.

The attackers fled the scene before the family boarded a 561 bus, but the mother then began to feel ill. They got off the bus in Deepdale Road , where passers-by said they found the woman unconscious on a bench under the bus shelter, with her two young children.

The woman was taken to Salford Royal Hospital with a head injury, where her condition deteriorated.

She has had surgery and remains in a critical but stable condition.

Detective Inspector Ian Partington said: “This was a despicable, unprovoked assault on two innocent members of the public in front of young children.

“There is absolutely no place for this in our community. We treat all hate crimes extremely seriously and are following several lines of enquiry to trace the offenders.

“We are also continuing to work with partners to address any concerns in the Breightmet community.

“The mother remains in a stable condition and we will hopefully see her improve over the coming days."

Superintendent Steve Howard, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “I understand that there will be concern from members of the public when they hear about this incident; however I want to assure them that we currently have officers searching for the person responsible.

“Based on the information we have at this stage, we are treating this incident as a hate crime.

“If anybody witnessed what happens or has any information that they believe can assist us then please contact police immediately.”

One person who found the woman told The Bolton News:  “She was on the bench with her two young children.

“The boy said he had been racially abused and his mother stepped in to ask what was going on.

“It looked like she had just collapsed. It is just awful. The paramedics came and police put a cordon up.”

The man arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated GBH and racially aggravated assault remains in custody for questioning.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5757 quoting incident number 1722 of 03/06/18 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.