Manhunt after boy slashed in robbery

Ashton Gardens in St Annes

Ashton Gardens in St Annes

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A TEENAGER was slashed across his face in a terrifying robbery in a Fylde park.

Four teenage boys were walking through Ashton Gardens, St Annes, at around 10pm on Friday when they were followed and held at knifepoint by a man demanding their wallets and mobile phones.

Three of the teenagers escaped from the park unharmed, however, one of the boys was cut across his face and needed treatment at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The attacker fled the scene and police were today hunting for him.

St Annes residents who regularly use the park have described their shock at the incident.

Jackie Hothersall, 50, from Beach Road, St Annes, said: “It’s awful and very frightening when you think something like this has happened.

“I usually see children congregating in the park, but have never come across any problems.

“I walk my dog in the park twice a day, but stay away from it at night because it’s very badly lit.

“This is terrible.”

Jack Godfrey, 76, also from Beach Road, says more needed to be done to keep public places safe.

He said: “This is disgusting.

“It’s a shock and it’s not nice, but unfortunately you read about things like this every day and it has got to a point where I don’t feel safe walking about.

“I walk through here at night and you often get a lot of kids drinking and shouting, which is a shame because it’s a nice park.”

Michael Thackrah, 74, of Clifton Drive, St Annes, (pictured) added: “It’s terrible because you should be able to walk through the park without this happening.

“I’m quite surprised and think it’s dreadful things come down to this.

“I’ve lived here with my wife for 11 years and came here because it’s pensioner friendly and we would be able to come in the park any time we like, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now.”

And St Annes resident Simon Dudley, 40, added: “I saw all the police cars and didn’t know what was happening. It’s quite worrying because I bring my son in here a lot.

“It’s shocking and I usually feel safe around here, but this makes you think.”

Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward in an attempt to catch the knifeman.

He is described as white, between 17 to 20 years of age and of very slim build.

He was wearing a dark Adidas hooded top with stripes and dark tracksuit bottoms.

Det Insp Tony Baxter, from Blackpool Police, said: “This was a frightening ordeal for the four boys and I would appeal to anyone who has any information to come forward.

“I would also appeal to anyone who recognises the description of the offender or to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in or around the Ashton Gardens area last night to contact us.”

Anyone with any information should contact police by calling 101 or contact Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org