A GANG of robbers burst into the home of a seven-month pregnant woman and punched her in the stomach and face before stealing cash and jewellery.

The four men forced their way into the home of 22-year-old Elham Akhoundy in Parrenthorn Road, Prestwich, at about 6pm last night.

They took £2,500 in cash, along with three necklaces, three rings, two earrings and a bracelet, before driving off in a silver Vauxhall.

Mrs Akhoundy had to be taken to North Manchester General Hospital as a precaution but did not suffer any major injuries and there has been no lasting damage to her unborn child.

Mrs Akhoundy, who moved to the UK from Iran four years ago, was alone in her house when the robbery took place.

She was sleeping in her upstairs bedroom when she heard a knock at her front door.

When she did not come to the front door, the robbers burst into her house by throwing a brick through her back door.

Mrs Akhoundy was hiding in the cupboard in her bedroom when two men broke in.

One man grabbed her by the hair and demanded money from her.

When Mrs Akhoundy told the men she was pregnant, one of them, who was wearing a brown hat, punched her in the stomach, face and head.

The men then ran downstairs and left with cash and jewellery.

Mrs Akhoundy said: “I heard a knock on the door and when I looked out my window I saw the man behind the door make a thumbs up sign to the other men as if to say ‘come in’.

“Then I heard the glass smash downstairs and the men coming in. I was so afraid and I didn’t know what to do, so I hid in the cupboard.

“Two men broke into my room and one of them grabbed my hair and demanded money.

“I begged them to stop and said ‘I’m pregnant. Then one of the men punched me.

“They shouted at me ‘where’s your gold?’, ‘where are you from?’ “I’m shocked that this happened to me — I’m very afraid that it will happen again.”

Mrs Akhoundy’s unborn baby will be her first child and she lives at the house with her husband Rasoul Vahedian, aged 30.

Her father Adel Akhoundy, aged 63, said: “We are very shaken and upset by this incident.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this happen to our daughter.”

Mrs Akhoundy’s neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was upstairs in my room when I heard glass smashing outside.

“I live with my auntie and one of her friends said she saw the men walking off laughing.

“It’s just disgusting that people could do this.”

One of the men was white, about 23 years old, 5ft 10in tall and chubby or stocky. He was wearing a black baseball cap and red gloves.

Another was aged about 18, white, about 5ft 3in tall slim. He was wearing a brown hat with ear flaps. The two other intruders were also white.

PC Paul Boothwell, said: “To threaten and assault a heavily pregnant woman in her own home is cowardly and reprehensible and if anyone knows anything about those responsible it is vitally important they speak to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 8568145, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.