A MAN was repeatedly headbutted by a skinhead attacker while on board an early morning train.

The assault onboard the 6.15am service from Southend Victoria to Shenfield was so serious the train had to be taken out of service.

Just before the train was due to leave the station the victim, a 36-year-old man, left the rear carriage to tell staff he had been the victim of an assault.

He said another man on board had headbutted him “several times”. He was left with a cut above his right eye which needed hospital treatment.

British Transport Police are appealing to any train users who saw the assault on Sunday.

Det Con David Bishop said: “We are in the early stages of investigating this incident and need to speak to anyone on that train who witnessed this assault.”

“Violence on the rail network, whether directed at staff or passengers, is unacceptable and I would like to identify the person responsible for this attack.”

The victim describes his attacker as about 5ft 9ins with a ‘skinhead’ haircut.

Anyone with information can call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference ESUB/B8 of 16/07/2014.