Frightened teenagers tell of street gang’s stab threats

FELIXSTOWE: Three teenagers who were robbed in a dark alleyway today told how their attackers threatened to stab them if they didn’t hand over their possessions.

Cousins Adam Flatman and Josh Hedley, and a friend staying over from Luton, all aged 19, were on their way home from a party, taking a short-cut along Cemetery Path when they were confronted by a gang of three men.

They were told to hand over their possessions and were punched and kicked by the trio – before they ran off into the Maidstone Road and Grange Road area of the town.

“They threatened to stab us if we didn’t give them everything,” said Mr Flatman, of Grange Close, Felixstowe.

“It was very frightening – you just don’t expect that sort of thing to happen in Felixstowe.”

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The friends had almost reached the end of the half-mile path – which runs between the port rail line and the cemetery and allotments – when they noticed three people lurking in the shadows at the side of the alley.

“They were leaning up against the fence and they had scarves round their faces and hoods on and we reckon they must have heard us coming along and just waited for us,” said Mr Flatman.

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“They threatened to stab us and we had no option but to give them our stuff.

“They then told us to leg it in the other direction – back the way we had come, which we did.”

During the incident, Mr Flatman suffered a hand injury and a punch to the face, which caused a nose bleed, while Mr Hedley, of Maidstone Road, was punched in the ribs several times and their friend suffered a cut to his head.

The robbers got away with cash, keys, two wallets, a black MP3 player and case, an orange-coloured Animal make rucksack which had in it Mr Flatman’s McDonald’s work uniform, a black Nokia N96 slide mobile phone, black LG Chocolate mobile phone and two train tickets.

The Felixstowe teenagers’ grandmother Janet Hedley, who also lives in Grange Close, said she was appalled at the attack.

“My garden runs along the end of the path and it was quite near there where they were attacked – I had been away on holiday and my dog was in kennels otherwise he would have barked and raised the alarm,” she said.

“I think it’s an awful thing to have happened. Felixstowe has always been such a safe place but now it seems you are not safe anywhere.”

A police spokesman said one of the offenders in the incident, which took place at about 3.30am on Sunday, is described as white, aged in his late teens, approximately 5ft 9ins and of slim build, and was wearing a white hooded top with the hood up and a black scarf covering his face.

The other two are described as 5ft 5in, with one a little shorter, both wearing hooded tops with the hoods up and dark coloured scarves covering their faces.

Anyone with information should call Dc Andrew Moore at Ipswich CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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