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Dad’s fury after son, 9, cycles into ‘nasty’ rope trap in East Malling woods

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Original article from Kent Live

A dad has expressed his anger after his nine-year-old son was injured by a rope trap in the East Malling woodland.

Grant Baldock was walking his dogs through the woods with his sons at around 5:30pm last Saturday (June 19), when his son Troy fell victim to a rope trap that had been laid across a narrow path.

A rope was tightly bound across a narrow path between two trees, in what appeared to be a trap set for passers-by.

READ MORE: Owners of Wrotham pub destroyed by catastrophic fire vow 'we will be back'.

Troy, aged nine, was cycling down the path when his neck collided with the rope and he was thrown off his bike.

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He was left with injuries to his neck and "mentally knocked", but his dad Grant feared it could have been much worse.

"We were walking the dogs through our local woods, and my boys were cycling a little bit further down the tracks," Grant said.

Grant first learned of the accident when he saw his younger son Blake, aged six, running towards him in a panic.

"All of a sudden I hear a scream and see my youngest son, Blake, come running down and telling me that's Troy's had a wire into his neck," Grant said.

"I obviously ran straight there, and I saw Troy just lying on the floor holding his neck. Troy was on the floor rolling in the stinging nettles, and then I saw there was a rope hanging right across the path.

The rope was positioned about three to four feet off the ground, putting the rope at near head-height for young children.

'That could have been potentially death'

Troy was knocked straight off his bike after colliding with the rope

Troy collided with the rope and was flung from his bike, and into a bed of stinging nettles. However, Grant feared that the accident could have been so much worse.

Grant said: "He was lucky he was wearing a helmet as well, because the rope threw him right off his bike the minute he hit it, and he fell headfirst into the floor. He's lucky he didn't smack his face into one of the stumps, or anything even worse.

"It's just lucky that wasn't a wire. Rope's obviously bad enough, but if that was wire that could have been potentially death.

"My heart went into my mouth when I was running to him, because when Blake said 'wire' and I saw Troy on the floor I just pictured the worst, blood gushing out of his neck."

Troy was left with injuries to his neck, but they were not as severe as Grant had initally feared. Grant says, however, that the impact on Troy was more than just physical.

"It's not just physically, it's mentally knocked him," Grant said.

"His confidence has been really knocked, bless him. We go through those woods a lot, but the next day he really didn't want to go. He said 'I don't want to go', but we managed to get him through there on foot, but he still wouldn't go on his bike.

"He's just turned nine and he got a new BMX for his birthday, and he was just starting to get confident on it before this. We're starting from scratch now.

'It's such a nasty thing to do'

Police are currently investigating the rope trap, with the trap being treated as a case of attempted grievous bodily harm.

Grant believes that whoever set up the rope knew exactly what they were doing.

"It's a busy cycle route, the horses ride through there, people walking their dogs. It's a busy woods. Whoever set the trap knew exactly where to put the rope," Grant told us.

"It's such a nasty thing to do. You just never do that.

"You might not like cyclists, you might not like horse riders, but you never set a trap like that."

At the time Grant didn't have a way of cutting the rope, so he bent the trees down and tried to lower the rope. They went back the next day and cut the rope, which has now been seized by Kent Police for forensic examination.

Grant posted about the incident on his Facebook page, where he labelled whoever laid the trap as an "evil b*****d".

He wrote: "So some evil b*****d decides to put a rope across the pathway in my local woods! Sadly Troy's neck fell victim to this.

"If this was wire or anything thinner this could have sliced his neck open and potentially killed him!! What a stupid evil thing to do!!

"This happened in East Malling Woods. Please keep an eye out & be aware of this in surrounding areas."

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Kent Police Inspector Elizabeth Jones said it was being investigated as a case of attempted grievous bodily harm.

She said: "This incident is being investigated as a case of attempted GBH as the child could have sustained far more serious injuries as a result of this callous act. Thankfully his injuries were not more severe.

"In addition to sending the rope for forensic testing PCSOs have been patrolling the area in an effort to deter further offences and also look out for similar hazards.

"It may be that this was a poorly thought-out prank that went wrong and it would be advisable that the person responsible comes forward to explain their actions."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 01622 604100 quoting reference 46/106535/21.

Original Article