A YOUNG woman was robbed at gunpoint by masked men in Priory Park, Southend,

The 20-year-old niece of former Southend councillor, Tino Callaghan, was walking through the park, off Victoria Avenue, at about 4pm on Monday when she was targeted by two young thugs on a motorcycle.

They robbed her of her handbag, which contained her mobile phone, purse and other items.

Her mother, Julie Armfield, says her daughter was screaming hysterically throughout the whole terrifying ordeal. 

She told the Echo: “My daughter heard the motorbike rev up really fast towards her and then suddenly she had a gun held to her by two masked men who were probably around her age.

“They demanded her stuff although she says she couldn’t really make out what they were saying because they were talking all that ‘gangster’ talk and had their faces covered with masks and balaclavas.

“One of them did take their helmet and scarf off though so she got a look at his face.

“People were coming up to her in the park after it happened, as it was really busy, and asking if she’s okay but she was hysterical and just wanted to get home to me.

“She is very shook up.

“Apparently police might have already got one of them.

“Something has got to be done because Southend is not safe anymore. It is getting ridiculous, this was broad daylight.”   

Tino Callaghan added: “It is worrying what is happening in Southend but more so how often it is happening.

“Southend its becoming a lawless area - it’s a joke.”

Witnesses reported seeing a police helicopter hovering over Southchurch Boulevard and an armed response car speeding down the road.

Anyone with information should call 101.