A COUPLE are urgently appealing for witnesses after they were viciously attacked while on a night out in Southend town centre.

Phoebe Francis and her boyfriend Brenan Cross were on a night out when a man began shouting crude comments at Phoebe as she was walking to get a lift. He was accompanied by another man.

Phoebe, 22, who lives in Basildon, said: “I was walking towards Alexandra Street past Annie’s Attic and a man started shouting sexual remarks at me.

“I ignored him until he said something about raping me which made me angry so I told him he was disgusting.

“This broke out in a bit of an argument and my boyfriend saw and came to take me away from them. It’s all a bit blurry but that’s when they started hitting us both.

Two bouncers and some other people saw and came to break it up.

“We escaped and headed for High Street but a few minutes later, they chased us and attacked us from behind. I was pinned on the floor and we were both hit multiple times.

“Again, some passersby saw it and started shouting and the men must have left - I’m not really sure because I was really shaken up and had to sit on the floor.

“I picked up my phone to call my friend who was supposed to be picking me up but as soon as I put my phone to my ear, the two men were running at us and had brought a third man as well.

“All I can remember was being punched, kicked and pushed to the floor. It was merciless. I remember being stuck on the floor and watching two of them kick Brenan while he just lay there unable to fight back. “He was just trying to protect his head.

“Every time I tried to go and help, I got hit and pushed to the floor. After what felt like forever, they finally gave in and left us lying on the floor.”

A passerby helped the couple and took them to the Last Post pub where they waited for police to arrive.

They were taken to hospital where they were treated for cuts and bruises. Brenan had to have a CT scan and an x-ray due to the severity of his head and hand injuries but both were luckily only left with severe bruising.”

Phoebe and 20-year-old Brenan claim police are no longer investigating due to a lack of evidence so the couple are urgently appealing for the witnesses to come forward.

“The issue is that police have closed the investigation due to lack of evidence,” she claimed.

“But there were so many people who saw it and helped. I need them to contact police and give them statements.”

Essex Police have said several lines of enquiry were investigated but if anyone has further information, they should get in touch.

The incident happened on the night of Friday, June 22 in Southend High Street.

If you have information, contact police on 101 quoting 42/89147/18 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.