A FAMILY have spoken of their shock after two armed thugs burst into an elderly couple’s home before threatening them with knives and boiling water.

The victims were left “extremely shaken” after being assaulted during the ordeal, which happened in Clinton Close, St Osyth.

Two men wearing black balaclavas entered the property armed with knives and threatened the occupants at about 8.30pm last Thursday.

They punched the homeowner in his face and demanded cash before leaving with phones and a wallet.

The victims’ daughter said: “As a family we are deeply shocked.

“My dad opened the door because he thought a poorly neighbour needed help.

“Two men brandishing large knives, described as machetes, pushed him inside.

“To say he was scared is an understatement – my disabled mum was also inside.

“They held the knife to my dad’s throat and told my mum they would cut his throat if she didn’t comply.

“My mum said they could take what they wanted, but she didn’t have a large sum of cash for them to take, which they seemed to think they had.

“They boiled a kettle and threatened to burn my mum. They also claimed to have petrol to burn them with.

“My mum screamed in panic and they tried to separate them by pushing my mum about, trying to lock her in toilet.”

The man tried to defend his wife, telling the robbers his wife had breathing problems, at which point he was punched in the face.

His daughter added: “They then got hold of their small dog and said they were going to torture and kill it – and then claimed they had my brother tied up in their car.

“My mum and dad are pensioners and haven’t got a large sum of money - they had very little in the house to give to these scumbags.

“Whoever did this has some knowledge of my family and is more than likely a local.

“Hopefully these vile scumbags don’t do it to someone else as I fear next time they will be bolder and someone could get really hurt.”

She added that the family is offering a £1,000 reward for information about the incident.

Det Con Hollie Hughes, of Clacton CID, said the victims were not seriously hurt but have been left extremely shaken by the ordeal.

“We believe these suspects may have parked up nearby and would have looked out of place considering the weather and lack of movement on our roads,” she said.

“We would urge anyone who noticed anything suspicious or has dashcam or CCTV footage at around the time of the incident to call Clacton CID.”

Ward councillor Michael Talbot said he was shocked to hear about the incident.

He said: “This is a very surprising incident for a place like St Osyth - it is quite disgraceful.

“The icy weather kept most people indoors, but it doesn’t seem to be a barrier to those who have done this.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about the incident should call Clacton CID on 101.