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Sandling mum Angelika Shepherd's warning after abduction attempt on son Sasha

By Claire McWethy

A mum is warning parents about a “predator” who she believes tried to snatch her son.

Angelika Shepherd experienced every mother’s worst fear when she received a call to say her 13-year-old, Sasha, had been victim of a suspected abduction attempt.

The teenager had just left a group of friends and was riding home on his bike down Sandling Road in Sandling when a white transit van cut across his path at the bend on Sandling Lane and stopped.

Angelika Shepherd and son Sasha

Angelika Shepherd and son Sasha

When the van door opened, the terrified Valley Park student turned and ran, before flagging down another driver who called the police.

Sasha, a champion street dancer, believes the same van had passed him around 15 minutes earlier at the Chiltern Hundreds roundabout, travelling towards Maidstone.

Mrs Shepherd, 55, says her son now gets shivers every time a van passes him.

The mindset coach told KentOnline's sister paper, the Kent Messenger: “It will take him a while to get over this because the experience really shook him up.

CCTV image of the van that stopped in front of Angelika Shepherd's son Sasha

CCTV image of the van that stopped in front of Angelika Shepherd's son Sasha

"He is street wise and does boxing so he is not easily scared, but when I picked him up he was shaking.

“It was pitch black out there, he doesn’t remember if he was chased.

“There is no other reason for a grown man to stop a van in front of a child that late at night on a dark road and get out. There is a predator out there.”

Officers are now investigating the incident, which happened shortly before 8.50pm last Saturday.

"I just couldn’t live with myself if anything did happen to another child because we didn’t take this incident seriously enough" - Angelika Shepherd

But in doing some detective work of her own, Mrs Shepherd has come across private CCTV footage which shows the alleged van travelling along Sandling Road.

She has also personally warned staff at Sandling Primary School and shared the warning on Facebook.

She added: “Parents and kids and siblings and teachers need to know. I just couldn’t live with myself if anything did happen to another child because we didn’t take this incident seriously enough.”

Anyone with information should contact Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting reference 02-1463.

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