BRAVE staff at a Canvey jewellers stood up to an armed robber - by chucking a cup of tea over his head.

The crook was also hit with a bar stool at after he threatened staff Jewellery Paradise, in Furtherwick Road, with a gun.

But he still managed to escaped with about £2,000 of gold chain. The raid happened on the same day the Echo revealed neighbourhood police numbers on Canvey are set to be halved, despite a string of armed robberies.

Owner Stephen Newman said they had just been getting ready to close when the masked robber burst in. He said: “This guy had a gun and asked for jewellery, but we wouldn’t give it to him so he jumped over teh counter and made a grab at some gold chains.

“One of the ladies here threw a cup of tea over him, although it wasn’t very hot. I got a stool and started trying to whack him with it.

“He got some chains but not as much as he would’ve got.” He said he had initially he had thought it was a joke and didn’t believe the gun was real. But then adrenalin kicked in when he realised they were really being robbed.

He said: “You don’t really know how you’re going to behave, I just picked the stool up because he had a gun and I was annoyed.

“It’s a case of you either sit down and curl up in a corner or do something about it. Hopefully we won’t see him again.” H

e said this was the first time in 15 years they had been robbed and that businesses were worried about the series of robberies.

He said: “I think everyone’s concerned. I think they need more of a police presence, and I really would like to see more CCTV on the island so they could see a little bit more of what’s going on.

A lot of town centres have got them now.”

The man is described as white, in his late 20s, of slim build, and was wearing a black hat and white trainers. He ran off along Lionel Road at about 4.30pm on Wednesday. Anyone with information in connection with this robbery is urged to contact detectives at Rayleigh police station