MIDDLESBROUGH, England - A British man with at least seven children by three women was subjected to a horrifying attack last week when his penis was severed.
Mr Kelvin "Kelly" Hewitt was found by the side of a road in Middlesbrough, in north-east England, early on Thursday morning after an attack that the police said was an act of revenge.
The 40-year-old was found soaked in blood and in such severe distress that he was unable to speak to officers.
The police cordoned off the area around where he was found in the hope of finding the severed organ, but to no avail, Britain's The Telegraph reported.
Mr Hewitt was rushed to hospital where he was placed in an induced coma.
On Saturday, he regained consciousness, but was too traumatised to speak when investigators visited him.
One family friend said: "Kelly's a good dad and a decent bloke. He's a hard worker and he loves his kiddies, he is devoted to them. There's no reason to go after him like this, it's barbaric.
"People are speculating about reasons that someone would do this to him, but there's nothing sinister about him.
"He's a family man and whoever did this needs locking up for a long, long time."
One of Mr Hewitt's daughters, 22-year-old Leanne Trewitt, from a third partner, wrote on Facebook: "My dad's stable now just hoping for a speedy recovery. Love you papa smurf!"
A 22-year-old man arrested by the police on suspicion of assault has been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Mr Hewitt was said to be living at a permanent travellers' site by an industrial estate in Middlesbrough and the area is populated by many gypsies, The Telegraph reported.
A shop worker in the area said: "We've heard he (Mr Hewitt) was messing around with a lass and they chopped his manhood off for it.
"We think it was one of the gypsy women around here. If they catch you at it with one of them, they don't mess about. It doesn't bear thinking about."
The authorities have refused to provide details of Mr Hewitt's injury or say if surgery had been successful.
A police spokesman was quoted in Britain's The Mirror newspaper as saying: "We were unable to carry out a detailed interview. Officers hope to speak to him to establish how injuries were sustained."
Mr Hewitt faces a long recovery and possibly plastic surgery.
Get The New Paper for more stories.