AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy was allegedly punched in the stomach after refusing to get in a white van.

Police said he was walking alone on the road when a white Transit van pulled up next to him and the driver asked him to get in.

The boy refused then another man approached and punched the boy in the stomach, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

It happened in Garfield Road, Hailsham, at about 7.20am this morning (Friday September 23), police said. 

The boy ran off towards South Road and to a relative at a bus stop in High Street.

The Transit van drove off right into Station Road, left into South Road, then away over the bridge.

The man who assaulted the boy is described as white, around 5ft4in and of average build with rotten teeth. He was wearing a black beanie hat, a brown t-shirt and dark blue jeans.

Detective Sergeant David Tye said: "Fortunately the boy was not seriously injured but he has understandably been left shaken by this.”

He added police did not know if the van driver and the man who punched the victim were connected.

Police would like to hear from anyone in the area at the time and who saw anything suspicious.

Email or phone 101, quoting reference 270 of 23/09.

Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (