POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a 36-year-old man was assaulted on a train shortly after it left Shenfield station.

The incident occurred on a Southend bound train that departed from London Liverpool Street at 11.52pm on Friday, July 18. The assault took place in the early hours of Saturday, July 19.

Detective Constable David Bishop said: “The victim was travelling with a friend and sitting in one of the rear carriages, close to a group of about eight people.

“After the train left Shenfield, at approximately 1.10am, the victim and one of the group had a verbal altercation. This led to the man approaching the victim and headbutting him in the face, causing a nasty nose bleed.

“The victim left the train at Rayleigh, but the attacker stayed onboard. I believe that he may have got off the train at Prittlewell”

Officers have now released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in relation to the incident.

DC Bishop added: “I am very keen to speak to the man pictured and am hopeful someone will recognise him. I believe he has information about the incident, and would ask anyone with information to get in touch with us.”

“We will not tolerate violence on the rail network; passengers should expect to travel without the fear of being attacked. We are working hard to catch the individual responsible for this assault and welcome any assistance from the public.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference ESUB/B15 of 11/08/2014. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.