A MAN left battered after allegedly being assaulted by five men has welcomed a decision by a university to investigate whether its students were responsible.

Gary Walden, from Broadclyst, said he was attacked by the men, all thought to be wearing dinner jackets, during a night out with his girlfriend in Exeter last November.

The couple were celebrating Gary’s 40th birthday when he alleges she was pushed by one the offenders after they began urinating in the street in front of her.

Five men were arrested after the incident but Mr Walden, who believes his attackers were Exeter University students, was later told by the Crown Prosecution Service that no charges would be brought against them.

In response, Gary uploaded a photo of the cuts and bruises he suffered on his Facebook page, which prompted the university to launch its own investigation.

Dozens of Gary’s friends left messages of support on the social networking site after the image of his bloodstained face appeared, including one person who wrote: “This is disgusting. I’ve shared (the image) in the hope that some of my daughter’s uni friends see it. Hope you make a full recovery and get the justice you deserve.”

Gary, who works in an Exeter tattoo studio, wrote himself: “I couldn’t do anything to help her and it upsets me that on that night they took away some of my pride.

“They should be made to face the music and stand up and take the blame for what they did.”

A spokesman for Exeter University said: “The University was not previously aware of the incident until Gary Walden’s Facebook post.

“We are concerned about the allegations and have instigated an inquiry.”

Devon and Cornwall police added: “There was a very thorough investigation.

“Five suspects were arrested in connection with the incident and a full file was submitted to the CPS, which makes charging decisions.

“They decided the evidence available was insufficient evidence to charge.”