THUGS armed with baseball bats hit a man so hard his eye socket was fractured.

The 30-year-old male victim was walking on a footpath off Bradford Bury with his partner when they were both approached by three men at around 9.45pm on November 30.

Two of the men were armed with weapons before they attacked the man, who required several staples to his head.

The victim also sustained a fractured eye socket and heavy swelling.

DC Samantha Winter, of Southend CID, said: “We believe that as the couple walked passed the three men, they intentionally bumped into the victim’s shoulder

"The victim turned around and was stuck in the face. The other two people were hiding baseball bats and repeatedly hit, kicked and punched the man.

"We have CCTV of these individuals and we continue to make our enquiries to locate them.

"A car pulled up and two men got out and assisted the couple and helped them into their car before driving them to hospital.

"I’d like to thank them for their actions. They remain unidentified and I’m urging them to contact us."

The first suspect has been described as being of mixed heritage, around 5ft 8ins and he was wearing a black puffy coat with a hood.

The second suspect has been described as being white, around 5ft 8ins and of a larger build.

He had either a goatee or stubble on his chin and was wearing a black of blue woolly hat.

The third suspect has been described as being white, he was shorter than the other two men, and had a scarf over his mouth.

The victim described them as being aged in their mid-20s.

The scene of the attack is a partially wooded cut through close to the A127 at the junction with Progress Road.

Anyone with information, CCTV or dash cam should call Southend CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/189912/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.