A man has been left baffled after his 30-strong Koi carp collection vanished.

Roger Hyman was checking equipment in his garden pond in Kestrel Rise in Halstead when he realised every single one of his prized Japanese fish had gone.

The retired salesman, 69, said he has no idea what happened to the fish, which are up to two foot long and could be worth between £100 to £5,000 each.

He said: “I am a little distraught about it. It isn’t the value that distresses me it’s the fact that I’ve had them for years and I don’t know where they’ve gone.

“Believe it or not, I had my favourites and if I think of what they used to look like it is upsetting.”

Mr Hyman said since losing a few fish earlier in the year to a heron he had placed a net over the pond.

He said: "They could have been stolen if someone came equipped for it but there were no obvious signs.

“It wouldn’t have been easy because whenever I’ve had to net them it’s taken me a long time.”

Mr Hyman said he planned to report the incident to police.