A MOTHER has described her fear after her son was targeted by armed robbers who demanded his phone and threatened to stab him.

The incident took place in Southchurch Avenue, in the middle of the day when the 25-year-old was on his way to college.

His mother, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “He was stopped by two guys and one put his foot on his bike while the other yanked him back by his rucksack.

“They asked him if he could get numbers for weed. My son told them no and they asked to use his phone.

“My son told them he didn’t have a phone and they called him a liar. They pulled out a knife and held it to him before snatching the phone out of his pocket.

“They said if he reported it they would find him using his phone and stab him.”

The incident, which took place at the corner of Ambleside Drive, is the latest in a string of attacks in the vicinity of Southend East train station, and other stations.

Last Monday, a woman was threatened with a hammer and robbed on the footbridge, while on Monday this week, two thugs attempted to rob a 23-year-old man by threatening him at the station.

The mother added: “He wasn’t bothered about the phone as such but he was devastated he has now lost all the family pictures on there.

“He was left pretty shaken up – he didn’t want to report it initially so it was me that rang the police.

“It was absolutely terrifying to get the call. He rang me when he got to college and told me what had happened.

“Two-and-a-half years ago he was in a serious crash and he spent a month in the Royal London Hospital with a brain injury.

“I thought I was going to lose him then so was terrified to hear he had been involved in something like this.”

The mugging is the third attack in that area in the space of ten days and at least the fifth close to train stations.

The victim’s mother said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting.

“You just start thinking nowhere is safe anymore.

“I think the laws in this country need to be made stricter because clearly there is not enough of a deterrent to people who do this kind of thing.”

A spokesman for police confirmed they were investigating and added: “We have received a report that a man in his 20s was stopped by two men while cycling along Ambleside Drive, Southend between 11.30am and 12pm on Wednesday, February 6.

“One of the men threatened the victim with a knife and stole his mobile phone.

“If you saw or heard anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage, or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42//19884/19.”

A BTP spokesman said: “We take any offences on trains or at stations very seriously and have a dedicated team of officers and PCSO’s on duty throughout Essex 24/7 to deter crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Their efforts, the eyes and ears of commuters, and the high quality CCTV installed at most stations are highly effective in making those areas an extremely hostile place for criminals, and for bringing offenders to justice.

“Any crimes committed on the rail network are thoroughly investigated and we strongly encourage anyone who has witnessed an offence or is a victim of crime to report it to us on 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "There have been a number of incidents recently where people have been threatened and robbed in the vicinity of Southend East railway station.

"We understand these will cause concern to people living and working in the area.

"We are working with our colleagues at British Transport Police to tackle the issue and we have additional patrols by officers in the area.

"If you have any information about these incidents please call us on 101."

Unfortunately, due to the victim’s short term memory loss as a result of his brain injury, he was unable to give a description of the two men who robbed him at knifepoint to help the investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident or any other robbery in the area should contact Essex Police on 101.

Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 to help catch those responsible.

You can also share information online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information