A 10-year-old boy robbed in a dark alleyway has told how he wakes up in the night crying.
The lad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stays at home and does not go out to the high street.
His ordeal was revealed at Portsmouth Crown Court when Philip Palmer was jailed for the cowardly attack.
Reading the boy’s victim impact statement, prosecutor Tammy Mears said: ‘Every time I’ve gone out since this has happened I have to keep checking my back and keep turning around.
‘If I’m out playing and we are playing games where people run away I hate being left alone.
‘I don’t go out the High Street without my mum.
‘I’m worried about taking my personal items out with me in case something happens again.
‘I was waking up crying in the night, talking about bad people, and having nightmares.
‘When I found out the man had been arrested and charged I was so happy.
‘I was scared that he would come after me.
‘Before all this happened I was a normal kid and didn’t have any worries.’
The boy’s mother told she feels hopeless as a parent now.
Her impact statement said: ‘He was enjoying the increasing independence I was giving him, I was growing in confidence and allowing him more.
‘He would not go out at all after the robbery, I had to accompany him at first.
‘When it first happened he would not sleep his own bed, he’d sleep with me.
‘He’s had bad nightmares, I’ve heard him crying.
‘He has since continued to sleep with someone as he’s too terrified to be on his own with the nightmares.
‘I worry about the fact the robbery has played with his mind and preventing him from living a normal care-free life that he should be enjoying at his age.
She added: ‘I feel hopeless as a parent after this happened.
‘For an adult to do this to him is beyond belief.
‘We’re looking at looking term support and counselling. The only way he could feel safe is to know the person couldn’t get to him.’