ONE of Southend’s most wanted criminals has been locked up for 16 months for his role in a gang attack in which two people were stabbed.

Charlie Cox, 21, of no fixed address, was part of a gang that targeted three Lithuanian tourists as they left a takeaway after a night out in Southend in 2012.

Two of the victims were stabbed and needed hospital treatment.

Cox, along with two co-defendents, pleaded guilty to violent disorder when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court last year.

But he jumped bail and went on the run.

After an appeal in the Echo, Cox was arrested and appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Monday.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, told the court the three victims were on a night out when they were approached by three men who squared up to them and asked if they were Polish.

The group said they were Lithuanian and walked away from the men.

A few hours later, the three Lithuanians were leaving Tasty Chicken, in London Road, Southend, when the three men from earlier in the evening approached with a group of others.

Mr Sorel-Cameron said: “The gang came towards them as if they wanted to fight. The three victims were split up. Five or six members of the gang began punching one of the men, until he fell “They continued to kick and punch him while he was on the floor.

“The man’s girlfriend threw herself on top of him to protect him and members of the gang ran away.”

Meanwhile, other members of the gang were attacking the second Lithuanian.

After the thugs left, both men realised they were bleeding heavily and had been stabbed.

They were taken to Southend Hospital, where they received stitches for their wounds.

Cox was identified by a Southend police officer as he was reviewing CCTV of the incident.

The court heard Cox had 47 convictions for 72 offences dating back to when he was 12.

In 2013, Cox was locked up in a young offenders’ institution for stabbing a man at a railway station.

In mitigation, the court heard Cox had a difficult childhood, but he now had a two-year-old daughter and was trying to turn his life around.