An elderly man is believed to have been hit with a bike chain and “pushed into a canal” during a suspected daylight robbery.

The man in his late 70s is believed to have been robbed of his bike on the Bridgewater Canal near Lower Green Lane and Higher Green Lane on June 8 just before 4.30pm.

This week police have released further details and have appealed to members of the public who may know anything to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Victoria Smith, of GMP’s Wigan district, said: “I believe that the victim’s helmet saved his life that day and took the brunt of the hits to his head.

“It must have been so terrifying for the victim, who felt completely defenceless.

Police have put out an appealPolice have put out an appeal (Image: Newsquest)

“After being pushed into the canal, the victim used all the strength he had to climb out of the canal whilst suffering from his injuries.

“The incident happened in broad daylight on what is usually a very busy route used by cyclists, joggers and dog walkers so we are appealing for anyone who may have seen anything or who has any information to come forwards to us.

“After speaking to the victim, we think that the suspect was wearing a balaclava that had a skull on the face.

“If you saw anything matching this description on June 8, please get in touch.”

Detectives say that after carry out CCTV enquiries they believed that a man dressed in all black clothing pulled in front of the victim on his own bike.

This stopped the suspected victim, who was riding his bike at the time and the man dressed in black then tried to pull the victim’s bike away from him.

ALSO READ: Police say it is 'misconception' that off-road bikes will not be pursued

ALSO READ: Police's use of stop and search powers shoots up

ALSO READ: Cash seized from criminals will help make a difference in Bolton

After the victim held onto his bike, he was assaulted and suffered a number of blows to the head with a bike chain before getting pushed into the canal and his bike was taken from him.

DS Smith and her colleagues have appealed for anyone who may know anything about the incident to come forward as soon as possible.

Anyone with any information can call police on 101 quoting incident number 2088 of June 8.

Alternatively, witnesses can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.