Dad puts up £1,000 reward after son is stripped of clothing on way home from Dunmow Carnival

Ollie Bell (centre) with his brother Charlie Bell, mum Tracy Bell, and dad Howard Bell

Ollie Bell (centre) with his brother Charlie Bell, mum Tracy Bell, and dad Howard Bell - Credit: Archant

THE father of a 12-year-old boy robbed of his clothes and left holding the goldfish he won at Dunmow Carnival has offered a cash reward to capture the culprits.

Howard Bell said he was “sickened” by the attack on his son Ollie and is offering a £1,000 reward for any information which leads to a conviction.

Ollie was taking home his three goldfish, which were in a bowl, when he was approached by two men on a footpath by Ash Grove at about 6pm on Saturday. At first they asked him whether he had his mobile phone but when he said no they took his clothes.

One of the men held his shoulders whilst they removed his jumper, shirt and shoes. They also took £15 from him and checked his pockets.

The Helena Romanes student was left with just his trousers, socks and the goldfish.

Ollie, who has a 14-year-old brother Charlie, has been afraid to leave the house since the attack and has missed school this week.

His father said: “It is just sickening. I cannot believe they did this. I am hoping this reward will smoke them out of the woodwork for our peace of mind and so this does not happen to anybody else’s children.”

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The men fled from the scene after the robbery before Ollie went to find a friend. His mother, Tracy, had become increasingly worried about her son after he walked home from the carnival and she could not get contact him on his mobile phone.

She explained: “I went back home to look for him and I could not find him. I was really panicked and I was running around everywhere looking for him.

“I then saw him coming with his friend and he was covered in mud. I was so shocked when I found out and I just felt really sick.

“He does not want to go out or leave the house. Now it is becoming darker earlier in the evening it is only going to make this worse.

“Children should be out playing on their bikes, they need to be outside. They should not have to worry about something like this happening.”

The robbery took place around 6pm. Ollie’s white Converse trainer boots, dark blue Ralph Lauren tank top-style jumper and his blue and beige checked shirt were taken.

One of the men is black, about 5ft 5ins tall, of skinny build, and aged 20 to 30. He was wearing a beige woolly hat, black jumper, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

The second man is white, and about the same height and age as his accomplice. He had ginger hair, spoke with an Irish accent and was wearing a dark baseball cap, white t-shirt with a picture of a beach on it, dark blue jeans and was carrying a black jumper over his shoulder.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward. Contact the Braintree CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.