Nine-year-old boy robbed for £1

THE mother of a nine-year-old boy subjected to a terrifying street robbery for just £1 has blasted the youths responsible, branding their actions "unnecessary and just plain nasty".

THE mother of a nine-year-old boy subjected to a terrifying street robbery for just £1 has blasted the youths responsible, branding their actions "unnecessary and just plain nasty".

Two teenagers targeted the youngster as he walked home from school alone for the first time, taking the money from him before hooking his rucksack around his neck so tightly it left him struggling to breathe.

The incident, which happened at around 3.30pm on Wednesday as the boy walked along Exning Road in Newmarket, has left him quiet and subdued and lacking the confidence he needs to travel to school on his own.

"My son was very shocked afterwards, as the incident was just horrible," said the nine-year-old's mother, who did not wish to be named.

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"My opinion on the people who did this is unrepeatable. I just cannot believe they would pick on a little boy and I don't think they really appreciate what damage they can do.

"My little boy has been very quiet and subdued since this happened, and it was so unnecessary. What these older boys did was just plain nasty."

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The youngster was targeted by the two older boys, who tormented him before taking his money and fastening his rucksack tightly around his neck.

"I think these boys started doing this as a joke," added the boy's mother. "They pushed my son backwards and forwards between each other and one grabbed his arms and held them behind his back while the other went through his rucksack.

"They only took £1, but when they left, they put his bag round his neck so tightly that he could not get it off. When he got home, I had to force it off his neck. He had weal marks on his skin and could hardly breathe."

The incident happened as the boy approached the Bridal Shop. As the area would have been busy at the time, police and the youngster's parents are hopeful someone may have witnessed the robbery.

"Someone is bound to have seen something. It would have been noticeable as it was such a little boy alongside two bigger lads," she said.

"My son was very reluctant to go to school yesterday morning as a result of this, and we will now take him and pick him up until he gets his confidence back.

"The police have said robberies are such a rare crime and is not likely to happen again, but that doesn't reassure him at the moment."

Det-con Neil Vollenhoven, of Suffolk Police, described the incident as "cowardly," adding: "This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the young boy who was left extremely upset and shaken.

"Cowardly offences of this nature will not be tolerated by Suffolk police and we are keen to talk with anyone who can help trace these offenders.

"We know the area would have been busy at the time of the incident and we are therefore confident that someone will have valuable information to assist us with our enquiries.

"Perhaps you were walking along Exning Road and spotted the incident but thought it was just friends playing at the time? Whatever information you have I would urge you to contact us."

The first youth is described as white, 5ft 4ins tall and around 15-years-old. He had short, black, dark hair which was in a spiked style and blonde at the front and wore a blue camouflage t-shirt and dark trousers.

The second was also white, around 5ft 7ins tall and approximately 17-years-old. He had brown, cropped hair and wore a green t-shirt with white sleeves and green trousers.

Following the robbery, the youths ran from the scene in the direction of Scaltback Middle School, while their victim escaped in the opposite direction.

Anyone who recognises the description or has any other information about the incident should contact Newmarket Police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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