Hailsham pensioner collapses after clown scare


A 70-year-old man collapsed in fear after a clown jumped out at him in Hailsham, residents have reported.

In a post on Facebook, Hailsham resident Erin Fox reported that her boyfriend had heard a 'horrible scream' as he was walking in Anglesey Avenue last night (Tuesday, October 11).

He ran over and found a elderly man who had fallen onto his hands and knees, Ms Fox reported.

She said: "He ran over to see what was wrong and it turns out a 'clown' had jumped out and scared him horribly! He was sweating and shaking despite it being freezing cold outside!

"This happened down Anglesey avenue near the post box. My boyfriend walked this poor man back home but now he is terrified to go outside, what if he had had a heart attack.

"It was funny to start with but now it's got to a point where it's making pensioners be scared to go outside."

She also confirmed the man had called to police following the incident, who she believes sent a patrol car to the area.

Earlier this week Sussex Police warned would-be clown pranksters they could face arrest for frightening strangers.

Inspector Simon Starns said: "We are aware this is a trend that has come over from America as Halloween is approaching.

"However while is not an offence to dress up as a clown and prank your mates, we don't advise people to do this to strangers in the current climate of heightened security and it is an offence to carry an offensive weapon or an item which could be perceived to be a weapon.

"We will respond if someone feels threatened and the culprit could end up being arrested and then they won't find it so funny."

Last week police have received a report from a cyclist, who was riding north along the national cycle route to Golden Jubilee Way, Eastbourne, on Wednesday (October 5), about a person dressed as a clown who jumped out from a bush holding what he believed to be an offensive weapon.

The man didn't speak to him and made no attempts to harm him but was still shaken by the incident.

Insp Starns said: "While we realise that reports of this kind are not restricted to just the Sussex area, the issues of intimidation, potential arrest and waste of public resources are the same across the country and we would urge people to refrain from such activity."

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