A teenage boy "could have lost his life" after an attack on New Year's Day which the victim's family say was racially motivated.

Police were called to Durham Road just after 2am on January 1 and are now investigating the racially aggravated assaulted.

A spokesman for the Met said: "The victim, a man aged 18, was punched by another man - the suspect then walked off down Durham Road.

"Due to comments made by the suspect, this attack is being treated as racially aggravated."

The father of the boy who attacked, who wished to remain nameless, said his son could have lost his life had it not been for passers-by.

"It was an unprovoked attack beginning with a racist hatred slur," he said.

"He fell on the ground multiple times, once losing his consciousness.

"Residents passing-by stopped to protect my son until police arrived.

"He suffered from sunken eyes, bleeding from back-head injuries and bruises across the body. It is the view of the family that he could have easily lost his life, had it not been for the help of the friend and passers-by."

Officers from the South West Command Unit are investigating the attack although no arrests have been made.

The victim's father said the family now live in fear of another attack.

"We are fearful of similar attacks and further attacks from the same man, and seek support from residents in the area," the West Wimbledon man said.

"Neighbours’ vigilance only would prevent the same re-occurring.

"The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to those and the police officers who protected their child during and after the attacks.

"Particular thanks to the citizen who stood by my son until the police arrived.

"We remain grateful for their genuine Britishness."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 on 1446/1Jan or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.