Teenager arrested after knife attack on Portsmouth schoolboy

SCENE Fawcett Road in Southsea, where the attack took place
SCENE Fawcett Road in Southsea, where the attack took place

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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested following a knife attack near a school.

Onlookers said they believed the victim was a pupil at Priory School, in Fawcett Road, Southsea.

Witnesses said a fight broke out at school finishing time, close to the junction with Manners Road.

A shop owner said she stepped in to restrain the attacker after she saw him lunging the knife at the victim’s face.

The trader, who did not want to be named, ‘saw two lads arguing’ and that one had a knife.

She said the attacker tried to ‘jab the knife’ into the victim’s coat and when he went towards the face, she came out and shouted ‘that’s enough’.

The woman said the teenagers ran off and the police arrived shortly after.

The woman believed the victim was lucky not to be seriously hurt.

‘He did not get punctured at all,’ she said.

The shop owner added that schoolchildren from Priory School came up to thank her for her actions after the incident.

‘The kids came over after and made sure I was alright,’ she said.

‘All of them were in complete shock.

‘It wasn’t something normal happening.’

The woman, a 35-year-old mum, said she was shaken by the incident, but reacted instinctively.

‘It was just kids,’ she said.

‘I would like someone to do that if it was my girl getting stabbed.’

A witness, who did not want to be named, said people who had seen the incident stopped the attacker in the street and restrained him until police arrived.

‘I came out of the shop and there was a plastic knife hilt on the floor,’ the witness said.

‘It looked like it had snapped off and the other half had got caught in the kid’s coat.

‘Then he’s tried to run away and a bunch of others apprehended him, and then the police came.’

Anthony Nesbitt, who runs a vintage clothing shop nearby, said ‘a big commotion’ followed the incident as police temporarily stopped traffic.

He said he saw more than 10 police officers at the scene. Mr Nesbitt said: ‘There was some kind of altercation.

‘I heard somebody had a knife.

‘All the road was blocked off and there was police coming out.

‘There was quite a big crowd down there.’

Hampshire police confirmed they are investigating an assault between two people in Fawcett Road that happened just before 3pm on Thursday.

A spokeswoman added: ‘No injuries were sustained.’

Priory School headteacher James Humphries did not confirm that the intended victim was from the school, but said the 16-year-old arrested was unknown to the school.

Mr Humphries said in a statement: ‘The police were called to an incident on Fawcett Road in Southsea involving a young man, unrelated to our school community.

‘No-one was hurt and the police arrested the individual.

‘We understand that it was an isolated event. School staff and members of the public acted swiftly to ensure that everyone was safe.’

A police spokesman refused to confirm the details of the incident, but said the arrested boy had been released on bail pending an investigation.