A MAN man was taken to hospital tonight (Thursday, January 30) after two men burst into his home and beat him up before robbing him of cash and personal items.

A police spokesman said the thieves entered through the unlocked front door of a house in Beech Street, Sunniside, Gateshead, at about 6.30pm.

They threatened the occupants and assaulted one of them, then demanded money and left the address with a quantity of cash and some personal items.

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A man was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment, his injuries are not believed to be serious.

The first suspect is described as being 5ft 11in tall, of slim build, wearing a high-visibility sleeveless jacket over a hooded top with the hood up.

He was carrying what is believed to be a handgun.

The second man is described as being 5ft 8ins tall, wearing a high-visibility sleeveless jacket over a dark blue or black hooded top. He was carrying a black and silver hammer.

No shots were fired in the incident.

Extra officers are in the area carrying out inquiries and providing reassurance to the community.

Detective Inspector Paul Woods said: "Incidents of this kind are very unusual in Northumbria and I would like to reassure people that an investigation is underway to identify the people responsible.

"The occupant of the house was not seriously injured, but this was very frightening for those involved.

"We are carrying out extensive inquiries and I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident or which might identify the people responsible to get in touch.

"We have extra officers in the area carrying out enquiries and providing reassurance.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 (quoting reference 882 300114) or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.