A FOREST Hill smoker suffered head injuries after being chased and then attacked with an iron bar after asking to borrow a lighter.

The 23-year-old victim has just off a train in Forest Hill at 12.20am on October 12 and was walking along Perry Vale at the time of the attack.

He stopped to ask a black man, aged in his late 20s, who was parked in a small, black hatchback whether he had a lighter.

But the driver swore at the victim before pursuing him down the road with an iron bar, leaving him with serious head injuries and substantial bleeding.

Detective Constable Richard Illingworth from Lewisham CID said: "This appears to be a totally unprovoked and violent attack. I would encourage anyone who was in Perry Vale and noticed anything to get in touch and assist with our investigation."

Anyone with information should contact DC Illingworth on 020 8284 8313 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.