A MAN was punched in the face and threatened with a kitchen knife after thieves broke into his home.

Three men forced there way into the house on Rush Close, Benfleet, at about 7.20pm on February 9 and demanded cash and valuables from the victim, a man in his 40s.

He was punched in the face and head several times and threatened with a large kitchen knife and his mother, who is in her 70s and was visiting at the time, was also threatened with the knife.

The thieves escaped with a three figures sum of cash in notes and coins.

Investigating officer DC Simon Laurie said: "It seems that the man was targeted for no apparent reason by three men who demanded money. The man was punched several times and suffered cuts and bruises. His mother was not injured.

"We want to hear from any witnesses who saw the three men hanging around in the area before the incident or anyone who saw them running away. They ran from Rush Close towards Rushbottom Lane and Church Road.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Laurie at Southend CID on 101 on call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.