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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
HIV tests for syringe toddler
A syringe
The girl was treated for a puncture wound in her arm
The mother of a two-year-old girl who was stabbed with a syringe, has spoken of her fears for her daughter.

The woman - who does not want to be named - said the girl faces HIV and hepatitis B tests over the next six months before she can be given the all clear from any potential infection.

Her daughter was stabbed in the arm by a man wielding a hypodermic needle as she played in a school field in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside.

Detective Inspector Shane Sellars, of Cleveland Police, called it a "horrible crime".

I cannot sleep at night wondering what the future holds


The mother-of-two said: "This is your worst nightmare. It's horrible to think somebody could have done this.

"He must be a very, very sick individual and the worrying thing, not just for me but for every other parent, is that he is still walking around somewhere.

"It's only been days since the incident and already I cannot sleep at night wondering what the future holds.

'Get in touch'

"I pray to God she won't have been infected with anything, but if she was to have been then what kind of life is she going to have?

"I would only urge anyone who knows this man to get in touch with police as I believe he could do this again.

"I don't want any family to have to go through what we are going through."

Acting Inspector Dave Hall told BBC News Online the toddler was playing with two six-year-old friends at 1730 BST on Monday when the incident happened.

Blood tests

Police say they are mystified about the unprovoked attack.

Mr Hall said: "The man approached the girls... he grabbed hold of the two-year-old and produced a hypodermic syringe which he stabbed into her right hand."

The toddler was taken to North Tees General Hopsital after the attack where doctors took a blood sample for HIV testing.

She also had a hepatitis B jab and faces further inoculations.

Detective Inspector Sellars said: "Apart from being a horrible crime in itself, sticking a needle into anyone's arm, particularly a child's, has the potential for infection."

The man was described by other children as being around six feet tall with grey hair.

The BBC's Mike McKay
"A totally unprovoked attack"

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See also:

14 Nov 00 | UK
Needle attack on toddler
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