POLICE are hunting a gunman who robbed an 81-year-old woman at a Shoebury shop. 

At about 7.40pm tonight, Tuesday, July 30, a man entered the Costcutters store in High Street and threatened a staff member and customer with a small handgun, demanding money from the till.

The frightened staff member, a local woman aged 81, handed over around £100 in cash.

As the robbery was taking place a member of the public intervened and was struck in the face with the gun.

This man, 21 and local, received soreness and bruising to his jaw but did not require medical treatment.

The robber then made off on a black Mongoose BMX bike he stole from outside the shop.

He is described as white and very pale, about 30-years-old, 6ft 2ins tall and spoke with a Geordie accent.

He wore a scarf across his face and was wearing a jacket with a black and grey hood and baggy blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Southend CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.