A mum scared off two intruders after they broke into her restaurant when her children were sleeping next door.

Liz Smith, landlady of the Three Horseshoes Public House in Burnham Road, Althorne, was woken by the sounds of burglars who broke into her business through the cellar.

The crooks caused damage to the door when entering the property, and were believed to be searching for cash and valuables.

However, Ms Smith heard them, and when the crooks came closer to the door which led to the adjoining flat where her children, aged six and nine, were sleeping, she shouted that the police were on their way, leading both to flee the scene.

Speaking to the Standard, Ms Smith said: “This is the second time in about six weeks that we’ve been targeted.

“The last lot were extremely quiet and didn’t wake anyone, it was only the next day I found we’d been burgled.

“These guys were much less professional, they were very loud and woke me up.

“They were approaching the door that leads from the restaurant to my flat next door, meaning they were near my kids, and I wasn’t having that, so I shouted that police were coming to try and scare them, and it did as they ran.

“I saw two people run away, then saw a car drive off nearby, I couldn’t tell if there was another person at the scene.”

Thanks to Ms Smith’s actions the crooks did not manage to steal anything before fleeing the scene, with damage only being inflicted to the doors.

The incident took place on the same night as fellow businesses in Southminster were targeted and hundreds of pounds taken.

Ms Smith said: “My children didn’t wake up during the whole thing which was a relief, they knew nothing about it until the next day.

“I’m glad nothing more serious happened, though they messed up my door, but I have new locks fitted now, hopefully it’s enough to stop them in the future.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called at 2.20am on Thursday, October 18 to reports of an attempted burglary at an address in Burnham Road, Althorne. Nothing was stolen.”

Anyone with info should call 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/151461/18.