THE mother of a Hungerford schoolboy has told of the moment a knife was pulled on him when he was caught in a showdown between rival gangs.
The incident happened at the skate park in Bulpit Lane, where parents have warned recently of open drug dealing.
In an exclusive interview with this newspaper, the boy’s mother told how her life and that of her family could have been destroyed forever in just a few seconds.
Meanwhile, in a written report to the town council, Thames Valley Police said they were investigating an “altercation between a group of youngsters from Newbury and a group from Hungerford”, which happened on Friday, September 22.
The team confirmed that its officers found a discarded blade in nearby bushes and enquiries are ongoing.
The mother of the 13-year-old who was reportedly threatened told the Newbury Weekly News of her horror at what happened.
She said her son had gone to the park with a friend, where they encountered a gang of around 15 youths from Newbury.
The mother of four from Park Way, whose full identity we have agreed to withhold, revealed: “It seems there had been trouble with another gang and they were looking for a boy whose mother lives in Hungerford and whose father lives in Newbury.
“My son noticed that the youths were passing round a yellow-handled blade. My boy said: ‘Let’s go.’”
She added: “They had started to walk out of the skate park when one of the gang ran up to my son and grabbed him in a headlock.”
The woman said her son managed to wrest himself free and hit his attacker.
She said: “At that point another youth came over, handed his attacker the knife and said: ‘Here – use this.’”
The 13-year-old and the older boy faced each other, and the woman said that, at that moment, her son’s life and that of all his loved ones hung in the balance.
She went on: “This youth was brandishing the knife at my son as they stared at each other. Then the youth turned and ran off.
“All of our lives could have changed forever in that moment.
“I was horrified.
“I mean, this is Hungerford – I’ve lived here forever.
“I know there have been problems with drugs in this area but you can’t keep your children locked up.
In July last year, police said they feared that dealers from London were increasingly targeting the town, along with Newbury, after successful operations drove them from Reading and other major Berkshire towns.
Used hypodermic needles have also been found in the public toilets near Hungerford Library.
Then, earlier this year, there were fears of drug ‘grooming’ gangs operating in the area, offering youngsters free, laced cigarettes.
Anyone who has any information about the latest incident should contact the neighbourhood police team via the 101 number.
Alternatively, the independent Crimestoppers charity can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.