Police are appealing for witnesses after a dog walker was attacked by a man who also attempted to steal his two dogs.

The incident took place over Hillyfields, at the junction of Rectory Lane and Pyrles Lane, in Loughton, at around 11.50pm on Thursday, June 27.

The owner of the pets was then hit over the head with an object after he refused to hand the canines over.

Before the unidentified man ran off, the dog walker managed to kick him in the ankle to protect himself.

The dog walker was then taken to hospital to receive treatment to the cuts to his head.

The suspect has been described as being black and at around 5ft 7ins tall, wearing a black mask and a black hooded Puffa jacket.

Following the attack Essex police are urging people to remain vigilant but to continue with their daily business.

Anyone with information is asked to call Loughton CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/101788/19 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.