A GANG attacked a family while they were holding a memorial service for their stillborn baby.

Detectives are urging any witnesses to come forward following the assault in Highwoods Country Park, Colchester.

The parents, and three children aged 11 to 17, were holding the ceremony by the lake at 6.30pm on Wednesday, July 23.

They walked past a group who began making comments before attacking the grieving family.

Det Con Yusseff Rahmani-Manesh said: "This was an appalling incident, where the victims had buried their daughter that morning after she was tragically stillborn.

"They attended the park in order to hold their own private ceremony, where they intended to release balloons in their daughter’s memory.

"This traumatic, emotional and private act was destroyed by a group who took it upon themselves to target a grieving family and deliberately burst the sacred balloons before then going on to assault the family.

"The father was repeatedly kicked and punched to the ground, and a family friend; a woman in her 40's, was also punched to the face and received two broken fingers.

"The father’s three children were also assaulted.”

Six people from Colchester have been arrested.

They include a 21-year-old man, a 23-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman, a 26-year-old woman; a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl.

They have been bailed while investigations continue.

Anyone with information call Colchester CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.