A 25-year-old man is in hospital after being stabbed in the leg and bicep during an assault in the Town Gardens yesterday lunchtime.

Shortly before 1pm in the busy public park, two men were seen fighting and throwing patio furniture, before one was headbutted and then stabbed in the torso.

The offender then fled in the opposite direction as police arrived.

Part of the park was initially closed off to the public before the cordon was reduced to a smaller area.

Crime scene investigators and a police dog were brought in to search the area, and police remained throughout the day.

PC Jonathan Kilburn was one of the officers on the scene.

“A serious incident has happened in the park involving a knife and one male has been taken to hospital as a result,” he said. “We were called out at 12.56pm.

“The injuries are not life-threatening. We have secured the scene until crime scene investigators and CID arrive.”

Cassandra Maggs, 84, was in the park at the time and saw the two men.

“There was a big fight, but I did not actually see the stabbing,” she said. “They were throwing chairs and fighting with each other.

“The knife was always around while they were fighting, and I could see it being flashed around.

“There was a taller man and a shorter man, and the taller man was the one who got assaulted. The other one then ran off in the other direction.

“It was all very nasty. What with all the children around here at the time it was very frightening.”

The victim is in a stable condition following the incident and was responsive when paramedics arrived at the park.

A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 12.56pm to reports of a serious assault at Town Gardens in Swindon.

“There was one casualty involved, which was a 23-year-old male.

“He has been headbutted and sustained head injuries, and there have been reports of a knife as well.

“He has been stabbed and was taken straight to Great Western Hospital. He was conscious and breathing when we left the scene at 1.17pm, and his injuries are non-life threatening.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police are appealing for witnesses following an assault in Swindon.

“The incident took place in the Town Gardens, Quarry Road, Old Town, at 12.55pm on Thursday.

“As a result of the incident, a man has been taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon with serious injuries.

“These are not thought to be life-threatening.

“Part of the gardens has now been cordoned off by officers. A weapon has been recovered.”

Witnesses are asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.