TWO schoolgirls were left terrified after being chased by a man on their way home from a friend’s house.
Talia Sullivan and her friend were walking a short distance to their homes in Moss Bank at about 7.50pm on Tuesday evening, September 28.
Walking down East Lancs Road towards Scaffel Road, the girls used a familiar passageway when a man jumped out and ran after them while screaming and shouting.
The 15-year-old Cowley High student explained there was no one in sight as they checked their surroundings prior to using the passageway, concluding that the man must have been waiting in the bushes.
Talia said: “We looked in front and behind us before we walked down the passageway and could perfectly see there was no one there.
“We got about halfway down when we heard footsteps running behind us.
“As I turned around I gasped as there was a black figure in dark clothing stood right next to me.
“We couldn’t see a thing but we just started running and he started running after us, shouting and swearing until we reached the bottom of the road.
“It all happened so fast but we were so shocked and scared.”
With the recent tragic stories that have highlighted the violence and intimidation women face on the streets, the incident has left the girls “shaken up” and feeling unsafe walking home alone, even on short distances or usual routes from school.
Speaking to the Star, the girls spoke maturely about the situation, stating: “We know that this world is no safe. It was not particularly late and we always use that passageway.
“It was so close to home and we keep thinking what if either of us were alone or it was girls in Year 7.
“We have to be cautious all the time and we’re too scared to walk home alone.”
Talia’s mum, Anita, raised the issue because she feels it is important to let families and young people know the dangers that can lurk on our streets, even in areas that you presume are safe.
Describing the incident as deeply distressing, she said: “It has made me so angry. I have six daughters and to think any one of them could be grabbed and chased is terrifying as a parent.
“As a parent, you feel like telling them not to go out but I know you can’t. […] It’s shocking.”
To boost their confidence and ensure they are better prepared if anything similar happens again, the girls are attending HAMMA mixed martial arts classes to learn self-defence.
Cowley High and Merseyside Police have also been informed.
St Helens Community Chief Inspector Paul Holden said: “This incident understandably caused the girls some distress, and we’re keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or lives nearby and may have captured details on home CCTV or other devices.
“It is unclear exactly why the man was behaving in this alarming manner and are keen to establish exactly what happened.
“We think two men in a small, red car parked on Scafell Road may have seen some or all of this incident so if that was you, come forward with any information or dashcam and we will take action.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre.
You can also call 101 quoting reference 21000660162 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.