A Luton pub landlord and his brother were badly beaten in the early hours of Saturday morning after four people were refused a drink.
Gerard Duggan of the Sugar Loaf in New Town Street and his brother Declan suffered a terrifying assault which left the pub smashed up and Declan needing reconstructive surgery on his broken jaw.
Declan – former landlord of the White Swan in Dunstable – said: “It was only the sheer bravery of other customers that stopped anyone being killed by these axe-wielding thugs.
“This was by far the most serious public order assault and offence that I have witnessed in my lifetime.
“They appeared at the back door and I was attacked.
“They went away and came back tooled up with weapons and started smashing windows with axes and hatchets.”
He was taken to the Luton&Dunstable Hospital where he underwent micro surgery through his temple to reconstruct his jaw.
The evening had started on a high note when Declan and a party of family and friends – including Lord Bill McKenzie and his wife Dianne – went to the Sugar Loaf after attending a Valentine concert at Luton Library Theatre.
Declan said: “It went from being a Night at the Opera to the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
“Luckily most people had left before the attack began. It was absolutely terrifying, like living a nightmare.
“I’ve never seen thuggery like it.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Two unknown offenders accompanied by two women gained entry through the rear entrance and became angry and aggressive when they were told they wouldn’t be served.
“The landlord was headbutted and when the other injured party came to his assistance, he was dragged along the floor and assaulted again.
“Five minutes later windows were smashed, it is believed by the same people.”
> If you have any information please contact the officer in charge, Police Constable Stephen Hunt, on 101. You can also ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.