Alert as child snatch bid fails

WARNINGS were issued to schoolchildren and their parents in a Suffolk village last night after two men attempted to snatch a 12-year-old girl.The brave youngster managed to wrestle free from the men who grabbed her as she walked past their parked car near Vicarage Fields in Great Cornard on Saturday evening.

WARNINGS were issued to schoolchildren and their parents in a Suffolk village last night after two men attempted to snatch a 12-year-old girl.

The brave youngster managed to wrestle free from the men who grabbed her as she walked past their parked car near Vicarage Fields in Great Cornard on Saturday evening.

As investigating officers made appeals for witnesses, the close-knit community of Cornard was left “praying” it had been an isolated incident.

And police revealed scores of people who visited a travelling fairground, on the village recreation ground, could hold the key to catching the men.


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A spokesman said: “This was obviously quite a distressing incident for the young victim concerned.

“There was a nearby fair on Saturday evening and therefore we believe there would have been quite a few people in that area at the time of the incident.

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“We would like to hear from anyone in the area of Vicarage Fields who might have seen two men acting suspiciously.

“In general, we would advise youngsters to always let people know where they are going, what time they will be back and the bottom line is stick together in groups.”

The family of the girl were last night too upset to talk about the ordeal - but community leaders spoke of their relief that she escaped unhurt.

Parish council chairman Peter Beer said: “This type of incident in Cornard is rare but that aside, this is very disturbing and it must have been a great worry to the girl and her family.

“It would appear that she had a lucky escape. It still sounds very serious but it could have been a lot worse. And it reminds all young girls on their own, whatever their age, to remain vigilant.”

And Cornard district councillor Neil MacMaster added: “I had not heard about this but it is a shock. The village is generally quite safe and I am just praying this is an isolated incident.

“I would always advise youngsters, especially girls, to walk in groups rather than walk home alone.”

The girl was walking along the road near to Vicarage Fields, close to the Stevenson Centre, at about 7.30pm on Saturday when the incident happened.

As she walked past a car parked on the side of the road, two men got out and one grabbed her arm. The girl struggled with the man and eventually managed to run off.

Both men were last night described as aged around 19 to 20 years old. Police said the man who grabbed the girl was wearing a hooded top, with the hood pulled up over a baseball cap.

Anyone with information should contact Pc Phillip Peck at Sudbury Police Station on 01473 613500.

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