Two men were left severely injured after being pelted with bricks by a gang of teens on Southend seafront.

The “horrendous” incident unfolded last night in front of dozens of shocked witnesses and the two men were left bleeding heavily.

Martin Richardson, who runs the Happidrome in Marine Parade, watched the attack unfold.

He said: “There was a commotion outside so I went to look and saw a group of about 15 youths throwing bricks at two men who looked in their mid 30s.

“There were kids as young as eight or 10 just lobbing full house-sized bricks at these men. It was horrendous – I have seen some fights in my time down here but it’s usually just fisticuffs between two people.

“I have never seen anything like this.”

It is understood the attack started after the two men intervened when the gang were seen breaking into the now-derelict Foresters Arms.

When the youths retaliated, the incident escalated and witnesses suggest this is when the youths began throwing bricks from the nearby car park at the men.

Mr Richardson said by the time the police arrived, the gang had dispersed.

He said: “One of my team members was on the phone for 12 minutes trying to get an officer to attend.

“I think they eventually turned up but by that point, the victims had gone and the attack was over.

“It was despicable.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called at around 6.50pm on Thursday July 11 to reports of a fight in Marine Parade, Southend.

“We attended and were initially unable to identify a victim. We were later called again with reports two men had been assaulted with what were described as bricks. We attended, located one of the victims, spoke to him and our enquiries are ongoing.”

If you have information call police on 101 quoting the reference number 42/109955/19.