Mother warns over approach to boy at match

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A Derry woman has issued a warning after an older man tried to snatch her 12-year-old son while he watched a football match in Derry.

Geraldine Jack from Rosemount said she wanted to alert other parents after she was told that the man- aged in his 50s or 60s- not only approached her son but later asked an adult could he take the boy to his house as he had a bike for him.

Ms. Jack said the incident happened during a 7pm on Tuesday kick-off match at playing pitches on Duncreggan Road, with her young son going to watch his older brother play.

“He went down to watch the wee football match when the man came and approached him. The man was on a bike himself and said to him, ‘would you like to come to my house and I have a bike, I could give you it’.”

The boy however told the man he was not allowed to talk to strangers.

Ms. Jack said the man, who was described by eye-witnesses as ‘rough cut looking’ and ‘very dirty’.

In a bizarre twist, the woman said that the man then approached an older person and asked him could he take the boy but was told to get away from him.

She said that he also tried to grab her son and take him away but the boy managed to escape and the man left the scene.

Her son was then brought back to her in a car by a friend who was at the match.

Ms. Jack said her son hadn’t gone outside today.

“I think he is a bit scared but not saying,” she said. “It scared the heart out of me, thinking what could have happened. I haven’t slept a wink last night.

“I want to let everyone know in case it happens to another wain; in case maybe a younger wain wouldn’t know to get away.

“My friend couldn’t get over the fact that this man seemed so determined get my son out of the place. I just want to tell parents to be careful.”

She added that she was planning to contact police to report the matter.