A WOMAN was punched in the face in a robbery in Southend.

The 27-year-old victim was walking home from a night out with her friends when she was attacked in Christchurch Road.

She first saw the suspect in Southchurch Road, near Essex House, but he followed her to Christchurch Road, shouted at her, grabbed her arm and then punched her in the face.

She was knocked over by the punch and screamed for help.

The man grabbed her handbag and ran off down Southchurch Road, in the frightening attack which took place around 2.45am in the early hours of Saturday.

The suspect is described as aged in his late teens, 5ft 5ins tall, slim build, pale complexion and local accent.

He was wearing a plain zip-up hoodie with the hood up, tracksuit bottoms and dark coloured trainers.

The woman lost a black Jane Norman handbag, a white Samsung Galaxy S3, blue Jane Norman purse, a small amount of cash and a passport.

She did not need medical treatment.

Police want to speak to two men who were in a BMW 4x4 and spoke to the woman after the incident as they may hold vital witness information.

Anyone who can provide any information about who is responsible or finds the stolen items is urged to contact Dc 1647 Vicky Caine at Southend CID on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.