A HOMELESS man was attacked and stabbed by a gang of nine, including three women, as he tried to sleep on a park bench.

The vulnerable 27-year-old was targeted for no apparent reason while he was dozing in Southchurch Park, Southend, at 11.45pm yesterday.

He suffered multiple wounds to his upper legs, back, buttocks and face, but still managed to stagger to a phone box in Prospect Close to call for help.

Act Ch Insp Gary Lane, Southend district commander, said the man was unable to provide a description of the group beyond the fact that it included at least six males and three females.

The victim could not determine their ages.

He said: “He was sleeping on a bench when he was woken up and set upon by some offenders. He was hit to the head and attacked by a small group, at least one of whom had a knife.

“He managed to leave the scene and walked quite some distance to get to a phone box and call the police.

“He received injuries to the top of his legs, his buttocks and his back. There doesn’t yet appear to be a motive.

“If you are homeless then you are a vulnerable person and you are subject to the elements without four walls to protect you.

“Anyone who has information about this incident should contact the police.”

The man was treated at Southend Hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening or life-changing.

Anyone with information should call Det Con Shelley Utley at Southend CID on 101.

People can also give information anonymously to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.