Preston mum speaks out against teenage thugs after her 11-year-old son was attacked in park
Beaten, bloodied and tearful, this is how little Luca Stevenson arrived home after he went out to play in his local park.
Now the Longton youngster's mum says she has 'raised her head above the parapet' to expose the dangers faced by youngsters and 'promote a safe environment for children'.
Stacy Dawn-Anne Stevenson-Brook says her 11-year-old son, Luca, was attacked at the same park where a teenager was beaten with an iron bar on Saturday November 24.
The attacks happened just days apart.
She says her son - who was making his way out to play in the park for the first time on November 16 at just 5pm in the evening - is now afraid to go out alone and fears being 'jumped' by other children.
She is speaking out because she says children should not have to fear going to their own park and neither should parents be fearful of speaking out.
Stacy, who lives in Longton and whose son is only three months into Year Seven - his first year at Hutton Grammar - was attacked by older boys.
She said:"He was pushed to the floor and kicked in the head, face and body and punched to the floor by two boys two school years above him.
"It seriously shook him up. He wouldn't cycle to school for a week. Was worried he was going to get jumped. Suffer a worse attack for telling me and involving the police. He also said he doesn't want to go out anymore, as it isn't safe. That was the first time he'd been allowed to the park."
Mum of four Stacy says she is speaking out to raise awareness after a video of a teenager being beaten with a metal bar and a bike seat used as a 'hammer' went viral on social media, provoking hundreds of angry responses from parents.
She said: "The more awareness this creates the better. That's why I've raised my head above the parapet. I feel very passionately about promoting a safe environment for our children. They should not have to fear going to their local park
"The police are dealing with it. The school have spoken to the boy involved. One was from another school. They've spoken to the other school. Issued isolation punishments and are co operating with the police to provide addresses of the boys."
"I refuse to be intimidated or silenced by a gang of youths in hoodies. What kind of society is it that we as parents are frightened to speak up?"
Police are investigating both incidents, which come days after another video - of a Syrian refugee boy being 'waterboarded' by a classmate at a school in Huddersfield - created a huge response.
A police spokesman said: "An 11-year-old boy has been approached by two boys and has been pushed by one of them, who is aged 13, to the floor.
"He has then been kicked to the head and body before they left the area. He was left with a bloodied nose.
"It happened on November 16, 2108 on School Lane, Longton.
"The incident is under investigation and enquiries are on-going."
Of the incident on November 24, which was filmed and 'shared widely' among children from the school as well as online, Stacy says: “The boy’s mother is too scared to share the footage herself because she’s worried about repercussions.
“But we want it seen to show what has been going on."
A spokesman for South Ribble Police said: "We're aware of some mobile phone footage circulating on Facebook which appears to show a number of boys fighting and assaulting another boy in a park in Longton on Saturday, 24 November.
"We wanted to re-assure you that we are actively carrying out enquiries in relation to this and have already arrested a teenage boy from Preston on suspicion of a public order offence.
"We will let you know as soon as there are any further updates."