11:00am Sunday 15th April 2012
By Chris Gregory
DETECTIVES no longer believe one man is behind two separate assaults on children in Basingstoke.
Police had initially linked two incidents that occurred within a week of each other near Romsey Close, Popley.
The first happened between 7pm and 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 27, when the victim, a 10-year-old, was walking from Merton Junior School to his mother’s house in Abbey Road.
His dad, Ashley Flanagan, a taxi driver, told The Gazette: “A man shouldered him into the iron railings and pushed him over. Thank God he was able to get away.”
The boy was not seriously injured in the assault.
The second incident took place at around the same time, in the same area, on April 1, when an eight-year-old girl was assaulted by a man.
Hampshire Constabulary initially linked the two crimes but has changed its mind after the second victim gave a description of her attacker.
He is described as being mixed race with a damaged front tooth, and wore a black hooded top with a skull motif on the front.
The first attacker is described as white, aged in his 40s, with a round face and greying hair.
Detective Constable Drew Wright said: “We are working to find out exactly what happened in both of these reported incidents but are confident they are not linked.
“While there is no immediate risk to children in the Popley area, I would like to remind parents to make their children aware of ‘stranger danger’ advice and encourage their children to tell a trus-ted adult if they have any worries.”
Anyone with information can contact Det Con Wright at Basingstoke police station on 101.
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