Detectives have released an Efit image of a man who assaulted a car driver and forced him to give him a lift in north east Essex.

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The motorist, a driving instructor, was stationary in his car at the roundabout leading out of Sainsbury’s supermarket at Stanway, at around 11.45am on Saturday, November 9, when the man got into the back seat of the vehicle.

The driver felt an object pushed into his side and he was then hit about the head before the man ordered him to take him to Harwich.

They took the A12 and A120 towards Harwich but at about 12.40pm the driver was ordered to stop near Little Oakley Hall, Harwich Road in Little Oakley. The man then got out of the vehicle and ran off.

Investigating officer Dc Pete Gartland said: “The victim was not seriously hurt by his ordeal but he was left badly shaken.

“This was an extremely unusual incident and we are keen to speak to any witnesses at Stanway or Little Oakley, or anyone who saw this man hanging around at both locations. The vehicle involved was a black Ford Focus with AA Driving School logos on the sides. It is quite distinctive and at the time of day that this happened there would have been many other motorists and shoppers around.

“We also want to hear from anyone who can identify the suspect in the Efit. He is of large build, about 5ft 10in to 6ft tall and aged around 45. He has a chubby face and at the time had dark stubble. He was wearing a blue denim baseball cap, and a grey waterproof jacket.

“He did not steal anything from the driver and at this stage his only motive appears to have been to get to Harwich but he has left a frightened and very shaken victim in his wake.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Gartland at Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.