Boy, 14, released from custody as probe into attack on child in Portsmouth cycle path continues

A TEENAGE boy has been released from police custody as officers continue investigations into an attack on a child.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 12:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 2:00 pm
A police cordon is in place at Moneyfield Avenue in Portsmouth yesterday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The victim, who is 14, is in a ‘serious but stable’ condition in hospital after being assaulted in Moneyfield Avenue, Copnor, at about 7.45pm on Monday evening.

Following the incident, a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and he was being quizzed by detectives yesterday. 

Police have confirmed that he has since been released from custody but remain under investigation. 

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A police cordon is in place at Moneyfield Avenue in Portsmouth yesterday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Detectives don’t believe a weapon was used in the attack, close to Ocean Retail park, a spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said.

Residents shocked by the attack

The assault on the schoolboy came as a shock to those living and working in the ‘normally quiet’ area.

The victim is in a 'serious but stable' condition in hospital. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Alison Dixon, an employee at Pets at Home, was surprised when officers ordered her to avoid the road when she arrived for work.

She said: ‘I got here just after 5am and there was lots of shouting by police, saying “don’t cross the road!”.

‘I didn’t want to get involved so I stayed in my car for a bit.

‘You don’t expect anything like that at 5am round here. It’s normally quite quiet when I come into work.’

A police cordon remained in place yesterday morning and officers were seen stopping dozens of children on their way to school from entering the road. 

Sandra Churcher, 60, lives in Moneyfield Avenue. She said: ‘I have lived here for about 25 years and have never seen anything like this.’

Councillor Jeanette Smith, cabinet member for resources at Portsmouth City Council and one of the area’s ward councillors, was appalled at the attack.

She explained: ‘Any attack on anybody, in any residential street, is a disgraceful act by the perpetrator.

‘What this shows is that austerity and cutting any police provision is causing some problems.’ 

The attack is the latest in a string of violent incidents to hit Portsmouth in recent weeks. 

Then, just days later, a police officer was stabbed in the back while he patrolled near Stamshaw Park.

A 19-year-old has since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Anyone with information on the attack in Moneyfields Avenue should call police on 101, quoting crime reference 44190086029.