Mother's plea over knife crime after son stabbed in arm during park robbery
A mother has called for more action to be taken against knife crime – after her teenage son, who has learning difficulties, was stabbed during a horrifying attack in a Dudley park.
Jack Harley, 14, suffered stab injuries to his arm, which required surgery, after the attack in Priory Park on April 17 – as the thieves tried to steal his headphones and bus ticket.
During the attack, he was threatened with a knife – before the offenders stabbed him in the arm and stole his wireless headphones and bus ticket home.
Jack, who has ADHD and sensory processing disorder, is now recovering at home after undergoing two operations on his arm.
His mother, Diane Harley, has now spoken out after the attack and called for more action to be taken against knife crime. Two teenagers, both aged 15, were arrested and bailed pending further enquiries.
She said: "He was at Priory Park after going to Merry Hill with his friends. He was robbed and stabbed while at the park, the two involved went after Jack's girlfriend first and then went and attacked him.
"They stole his wireless air pod headphones, which he uses to block out loud noises as it keeps him calm, and they also took his bus ticket.
"My phone rang and it was his phone – and his girlfriend was saying Jack had been stabbed and he was in the back of an ambulance, then the police confirmed it. At that point I did not know the severity of it all.
"When there is a weapon involved I have always told him to get out. But thank god he covered up and put his arm up, or it could have been a lot worse.
"They said at the hospital if the stab wound was any higher he could have been faced with losing his arm. The police told him if he had been stabbed in the stomach he might not have been here.
"Jack was more worried about telling me they had stolen the headphones. I said you're alive – the air pods are replaceable.
"He had surgery on Thursday to partly close the wound and clean it out, and then another operation on Saturday to close it all up. He has nerve damage in his hand so he will have to have physiotherapy.
"He was one lucky boy – it could have been a lot worse."
She added: "I have every emotion going at the moment. I was just gobsmacked when I received the phone call – I just could not believe I was having this conversation with the police that my son had been stabbed.
"I want him to have his independence but this was the first time I have let him out of my sight – and then this happens.
"Jack's taking one day at a time. It's a terrifying thing to happen to a young teenager.
"There is no logic where children are picking up knives. What is going on with this world.
"I definitely think more action should be taken – if you pick up and carry a knife it should be an automatic sentence. You have got that weapon whether its a knife or a gun, it's in your possession. People need to put knives down."
A spokesman from West Midlands Police said: "Police are investigating after a teenager was stabbed in Priory Park , Dudley, at around 9.15pm on Wednesday, April 17.
"It is believed the boy was approached by two people who threatened him with a knife before stealing his wireless earphones and stabbing him.
"The 14-year-old was taken to hospital with an injury to his arm and continues to recover at home.
"Two boys, aged 15, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and released on police bail pending further enquiries."
Anyone with information can call officers on 101, quoting incident number 20DY/92922H/19. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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