A WOMAN was sexually assaulted and robbed in Shoebury in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Essex police are investigating the incident, which happened at around 3.15am in a park off North Shoebury Road.

The victim, a woman in her fifties, was returning home from the Asda supermarket and walking south along North Shoebury Road when she was approached by the suspect at the entrance to Shoebury Park.

The man, approximately 17 years old, of slim build, about 5ft 5ins tall, spoke to the woman before dragging her into the park where she attempted to fight off the attacker but she was further threatened and subjected to a serious sexual assault.

The suspect was wearing a blue hooded top with white toggles/strings tied tight around his head, dark bottoms, dark trainers and he spoke with a local accent.

Following the assault the suspect also stole the victim’s large brown and white speckled handbag.

Essex police is asking for anyone in the area at the time who may have seen a man matching the description, or know someone who came home is a dishevelled or agitated manner to contact detectives.

The stolen handbag has not been found, police would also like to hear from anyone if they come across it.

Anyone with information should contact Southend CID on 101 and ask for the duty sergeant or detective constable Richard Siggers, alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.