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‘EXTRA VIGILANT’: Mum warns community after toddler assaulted at Radlett park

 Published on: 18th September 2023   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

The mother of a two-year-old assaulted at Phillimore Recreation Ground has taken to social media to warn other families after the upsetting experience.

The Radlett resident, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that she and a friend had taken their children to Gills Hill on the morning of Thursday, September 14. Whilst the children were playing, a group of adults with special educational needs (SEN) and their supervisors were also present at the playground.

The distressed mum explained: “All of a sudden, a very tall and large student who must have been 17-21 years old ran over to our children. Again, we thought nothing of it and assumed he was just coming to say hello. Our calmness was also because there were two staff members with him.

“Unfortunately, we let our guard down as we assumed the staff knew him well and didn’t think he was violent or the staff would have kept him far away. However, he ran over and smacked my son very hard across the face. He fell back on the baby equipment as it was done with such force. As I ran towards him, my friend’s girl was then attacked immediately after. She was kicked hard in the tummy, leaving a large red mark.”

After sharing the story on Facebook, the resident – who herself has a background in education – was surprised to receive multiple expressions of solidarity from other local mums who had experienced similar incidents.

She told Radlett News: “I would never put any blame on the student. But what makes me incredibly upset and angry is hearing that there is a student who is well-known to have high anxiety around young children and loud noises [being taken to] a public playground with lots of children.”

“The school would be wiser to take him to SEN-friendly playgrounds like the one in Aldenham Park.”

Another mother agreed that whilst the SEN adult should not be punished: “The blame lies totally with the senior management of [his] school.”

Moments after the incident, multiple staff members tried to restrain the student in question, who was clearly very distressed. Apparently, it took “over half an hour” to calm the student and escort him from the playground.

After the incident, both young children were left “very shaken up”. Neither child wanted to return to the playground.

Whilst the incident is being investigated by the council and Herts Police, the mother of the little boy told Radlett News that families should be “extra vigilant” at the park.


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