Police are searching for a gang of men who launched a "sickening" 10 minute attack on a Spanish couple in York because they were foreign.

The incident took place in the early hours of 5 April after the Spaniards, who are in the UK on holiday, left the Blue Fly Café Bar on New Street.

Five men are alleged to have punched and kicked the 24-year-old man for around 10 minutes along the city centre route. He suffered a broken jaw, chipped teeth and bruising during the attack.

The woman, 29, was also repeatedly pushed to the ground by the men while he was being attacked.

The incident only stopped because a taxi driver was able to intervene and come to the couple's assistance. Police have launched a second appeal for the taxi driver who saw the attack to come forward.

Police believe the couple were targeted by the men just because they are from another country.

The suspects are described as white, aged between 20 and 25, with short or shaved hair. One of the men was about 5ft 7in tall, had short or shaved brown hair, and was wearing a short-sleeved, light-coloured T-shirt with trousers.

PC Sophie Wilson, of the York Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "This is a very disturbing incident which will quite rightly shock the local community in York and those who regard the city as a friendly and safe place to visit.

"We are doing everything we can investigate this case and bring those responsible to justice. We are also providing support to the young couple from Spain who have had their stay tarnished in the most sickening and vicious way."

She added: "The victims are extremely grateful to the taxi driver for having the decency to stop and help when they were in a very frightening situation. I am appealing for the taxi driver to get in touch as soon as possible as he may have vital information about the suspects and the circumstances surrounding the incident."