Detectives have been forced to shelve an investigation into a horror stabbing.

A group of five balaclava-clad hooligans were said to have pierced their victim – an innocent cyclist – three times on October 17 last year.

The daylight attack saw the victim, a man in his 50s, punched, kicked and stabbed twice in the buttocks and once in the hip after he was chased from the Station Road underpass, known as Muggers’ Alley, to Ferndale Road.

Police arrested seven teenagers on suspicion of wounding with intent. The boys were aged 16, 17 and 18.

Despite extensive enquiries, officers haven’t been able to bring charges.

Det Sgt Adrian Bray of Swindon CID told the Adver: “We carried out a thorough and detailed investigation into this incident, including speaking to potential witnesses and carrying out forensic work.

“However, we have now reached a point where we unfortunately have to conclude that despite making a number of arrests we have been unable to bring charges against anyone, and we do not have any further viable lines of enquiry.”

The detective said the force would reopen the case if new information was uncovered.

He said: “We have fully updated the victim to explain our reasons and reassured him that if any new information was to come to light then we would of course pursue that.

“It is always frustrating when this happens, but I know the team have worked hard to exhaust every investigative opportunity available to us.”

The October stabbing left locals shocked.

Clair Collier, then 42, was driving along Northern Road when she was passed by the masked boys on bicycles, she told the Adver at the time.

When moments later she saw the stabbing victim, understood to be in his 50s, she initially thought he had fallen onto the path. It was only when she stopped, put on her car’s hazard lights and went to his aid that a woman came out of a nearby house to say she had called the police.

She said: “I just don’t want to bring my children up around this area. We’ve only lived here for three months.

“To know that these young boys are carrying knives in broad daylight. They just don’t care.”

Following the attack, Central Swindon North Parish Council said it would look into installing CCTV either side of the underpass. Dale Heenan, the borough council's cabinet member for the town centre, countered at the time: “The best method of prevention is not watching CCTV, but for everyone to visibly see police patrolling to prevent knife crime.”

The path has seen a number of violent incidents in the past decade, including the murder of Tom Rogers in 2014 and two robberies.