‘I hope he is proud of himself’ - Dad’s anger as schoolboy is threatened with knife and phone stolen
THE FATHER of a 13-year-old boy, who was grabbed around the throat and threatened with a knife before his mobile phone was stolen, is urging witnesses to come forward so the perpetrator can be brought to justice.
John Smith, 57, from Ifield West, said his son was walking home from Holy Trinity School in Gossops Green on Monday (September 10) at 4pm when a man approached him as he passed the bridge at Ifield Mill Pond, and asked him for the time.
The school boy got out his iPod Touch to check the time on the screen and as he did so the man tried to wrestle it out of his hands.
John said: “My son managed to put the the iPod back in his pocket. But then the robber grabbed him around the throat and produced a knife and asked him for his mobile phone.
“We think he may have been after the iPod and assumed it was an iPhone. My son gave him his mobile phone, he said it wasn’t worth getting hurt over.”
The robber then sprinted off leaving the 13-year-old badly shaken.
John said the quick thinking pupil recognised an older boy from his school walking in the distance and went over to him and asked if he could use his phone to contact the police.
When John arrived home from work the police were already at his house taking a statement from his son.
He said: “He did very well. He was all on his own apart from his older brother who was at home with him when the police arrived.
“I don’t think it has really sunk in. He was very hyper about it the night it happened, but he is now more subdued.
“He does not walk that route any more, which means his 20 minute walk to school has now become 40 to 50 minutes.
“He has not been his usual self but he is not scared to go out.”
John said he is angry and said pupils should be able to walk home from school in safety.
He said: “I hope he is proud of himself, threatening a 13-year-old boy, very impressive.
“I feel angry because I don’t think that it’s right that kids shouldn’t be able to walk home from school in safety.
“What is this place coming too?
“The mobile phone was not very valuable. It was pay as you go and not contract.
“It shocks me how knives seem to be more prevalent in criminal situations now.
“I am hoping by speaking to the paper, it will help bring people forward who saw something. My son mentioned there was a group of students, possibly from Ifield Community College, who might have some information.
“It was a very frightening experience.”
The thief was described as white, aged about 17, of average build, between 5’ 6” and 5’ 10” tall, with dark spiky blonde hair and a small beard.
He was wearing a blue Adidas jumper described as being ‘raincoat material’ with the hood up, and grey fabric tracksuit bottoms.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “This was a terrifying incident for a young boy who was simply making his way home from school.
“Fortunately he wasn’t injured but he was obviously very shaken up by the ordeal.”
If anyone has any information about the robbery call Sussex Police on 101, quoting serial 1132 of September 10.
Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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