Concerned Burnley mum's warning after kidnap attempt on teenage schoolboy

A concerned Burnley mum has warned parents to be vigilant after her son told her a man tried to lure him into his car as he walked home from school in broad daylight.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 2:45 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd November 2018, 8:03 am
Connor Ingham and his sister Hannah on their first day at Burnley High School.

Sarah Ingham was horrified when her 14-year-old son Connor described how the man, who was driving a yellow Fiat, followed him and his little sister Hannah, who is 11, and her friend, as the trio made their way home from Burnley High School.

Sarah said: "Connor said he had noticed the car had been following them, driving slowly.

"The driver then asked Connor if he wanted a lift so he said no and the man offered him sweets to get in the car.

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"When Connor refused the man got out of the vehicle and tried to grab my son."

Connor shouted at the man and told him to go away before alerting his sister and her friend, who had stopped a few yards behind him on the opposite side of the road to pet a dog.

The trio first noticed the distinctive car parked on a dirt track at top of Bear Street that leads to Lowerhouse lodges.

Connor said the man followed them in the car and made the approach close to Loxley Gardens.

Sarah added: "When Connor crossed the road towards Hannah and her friend the man got back into his car and sat there watching them walk away."

The trio made their way home to the Griffin estate off Accrington Road and reported the incident to Sarah who rang 999 immediately.

Lancashire Police confirmed today it had received a report about the incident and it was being looked into.

Sarah said: "Luckily my son stood up for himself and his little sister and her friend.

"Who knows what could have happened if he had not been there?

"They have said they are ok but this must have really shaken them up."

The children are usually taken to and from school by car but on Tuesday the vehicle had to be taken into the garage for repairs.

Although he could not give a detailed description of the assailant, Connor told police he had white hair and a chubby face. He also noticed the registration plate of the car had an X in it.

The incident, which happened between 4-10pm and 4-20pm, has now confirmed fears that Sarah had already expressed about the children's safety as they make the 40 minute walk to and from school each day.

And Sarah was sickened to discover a social media post about a similar incident in another part of Burnley where a man in a yellow car approached a woman and asked her to get in.

This incident happened on Monday evening near the Aldi store in Todmorden Road, Burnley. The man was described as being "well dressed and about 60-years-old."

She said: "It is not safe for our children to walk to school and I want to warn other parents to be on their guard.

"What has to happen before someone listens and takes action?

"Does a child have to be abducted or killed?"

Sarah said she had raised the safety issue with Lancashire County Council several times in the past four months since it made the decision to close down Hameldon Community College, the school that Connor attended for the first two years of his secondary education.

But she claims that her calls for a specially designated bus to take all the students, who had to move from Hameldon to Burnley High School and Shuttleworth College, have been ignored.

Sarah said: "I warned Lancashire County Council there would be issues around child safety and I was passing on not just my concerns but those of every other parent.

"I hold the county council personally responsible for putting my son in this situation."

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said it would be inappropriate to comment on a matter being investigated by the police, adding: "Any type of unpleasant incident like this would be upsetting for those involved.

"Safety is of paramount importance though, so schools in the area will be asked to remind parents and children about Stranger Danger."

A spokesman for Burnley High School said: "We have no comment to make as it did not happen on school premises or in school time."