Two school children have suffered head wounds after being beaten with a metal bar in an unprovoked attack.
Friends Callum Leonard, 14, and Jessica Wilde, 13, were sitting near playing fields at Wallbank Primary School in Tipton, Birmingham, texting friends when a man walked up behind them and attacked them.
Despite being hit from behind and each being struck at least twice on the head, the teenagers managed to scramble to their feet and escape along a path. Both youngsters required hospital treatment for several deep cuts to their heads and have been left traumatised by the incident. The white male attacker, believed to be aged about 20, approached the youngsters at 5.40pm on November 20.
The parents of the pair, who described them as bubbly and outgoing youngsters, said they are still too scared to go outside after dark - but are on the mend.
Callum's mother Claire Leonard, of Henn Drive, Tipton, said: "The first I knew, I got a phonecall to say they had been attacked but I didn't know how bad it was. They had managed to run away, and when I got to them they were waiting for the ambulance with Jessica's dad.
"They had run for about 15 minutes before they stopped to ring anyone, they were that frightened. Callum's head was bleeding, and he'd got a 5cm cut on the front of his head, and a 4cm cut just above his ear, and the blow has actually left a dent in his head.
"The man who attacked them never said anything to them, and although they were on their phones, he didn't seem interested in going after what they were carrying."
Jessica's mother Claire Wilde, of Havacre Lane in Coseley, said Callum was her "little hero" after he grabbed her daughter off the ground and helped her run off, as the attack continued. She said her daughter had also been badly shaken by the assault.
"She's got a 7cm cut on her head and grazes all over her scalp," said Mrs Wilde. "She couldn't go horse-riding for two weeks afterwards, and she's still not sure of going out. Before she would go out to friends' houses after school but now she's too scared. They are both very lucky considering what could have happened."
West Midlands Police are appealing for help to find the attacker, and have also appealed directly to the man to hand himself in.