A FARMER has been ‘violently attacked' by four masked men.

Police said that the farmer was assaulted by four men and a car was also damaged in the attack.

It is thought farmer Phil Richards was hurt as he tried to use his Land Rover to block the men's escape after discovering they were trying to steal diesel from Highfields Farm in Hope Lane, Clifton-upon-Teme.

Mr Richards was left badly bruised and shaken after the incident.

Officers were called to the assault after receiving a report with a concern for the safety of the farmer on Thursday, February 6, at 9.20pm.

Mr Richards declined to comment on the attack.

However, a Facebook post by a group called Clifton-upon-Teme, claims the men, which it described as ‘foreign’ attacked Mr Richards with bolt cutters when he blocked their escape with his Land Rover, and also smashed the vehicle.

The four men were travelling in a black BMW car, registration PO66 WDD.

Police have confirmed four men fled the farm after the assault.

There have been no arrests made at this time and investigations are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101 with reference number 0731s 060220.

Three years ago, a JCB 53070 telescopic handler with bale squeeze on the front was stolen from the rickyard at the same farm.