A furious mother has hit out at the “cretin” who held an eight-inch knife to her son’s throat before running off with his mobile phone.
Connor O’Flannagan, 16, was walking through Ifield Park with a 15-year-old friend at around 8pm on Tuesday last week (November 13), when they were mugged by a man with a blue and white bandanna over his face.
The Central Sussex College student was forced to the ground and made to hand over his Samsung Galaxy S2 before the thief fled towards Hyde Drive.
Connor’s mother Morgan said: “He pulled out an eight-inch knife and held it to Connor’s throat and told him to get down on his hands and knees and said ‘give me what you’ve got’.”
When asked what she thought of the man responsible, she branded him a “cretin” and added: “I’m just shocked that some one could do this.
“What sort of animal puts a knife to a 16-year-old’s throat for a mobile phone? He must be funny in the head.
“The next person may not be so lucky.
“I want everyone to be vigilant. I really hope he’s ashamed of himself and that some one comes forward to name him.”
On the evening that the two boys were accosted, Morgan thought Connor was out with another friend.
But, when that boy knocked on her door at around 7.30pm to call for her son, she tried to contact Connor’s phone but received no answer.
She said: “I was still talking to his friend when there was a knock on the door and it was Connor.
“He looked extremely shaken and very pale and asked me to come outside.
“He told me he had been held at knife-point – I was just completely shocked.”
Morgan immediately dialled 999 and was in such a state that she kept apologising to the operator in case she had called the wrong number.
Police officers interviewed Connor and conducted a search of the park but were unable to find the thief.
The shaken lad, who hopes to train as a firefighter, received a slight cut to his hand after instinctively trying to push the knife away but was otherwise unharmed.
To make matters worse, the phone which was taken from Connor was still being paid for and Morgan said there was no way the family could buy a new one.
Morgan added: “He’s OK. He’s just relieved that nothing more serious happened.
“He thinks he got away lightly compared to what could have happened.
“After it happened he was as white as a sheet but he’s been out since although I don’t think he will be going to Ifield Park again.”
DC Sue Maccallum-Stewart, of Sussex Police, said: “The victims were understandably shaken by the incident but uninjured.
“We are appealing for witnesses to come forward who were in or near the park at the time and saw a man wearing a bandanna in the area.
“He is described as about 18 years old, Asian, 5ft 6ins, wearing a black coat with the hood up, a blue bandanna with a white pattern over his face.
“He was also wearing black trousers and grey Nike trainers with a blue tick.”