POLICE are stepping up patrols in a children’s playpark after a ten-year-old was set on fire by teenagers.

Primary school pupil Gabriel Wishart had been playing in Ashton Park, in the Clifton area of York, when a group of teenage boys sprayed him with an aerosol can and set his clothes on fire.

The boy dropped to the ground and rolled in the snow. Luckily he managed to put out the flames before he was seriously injured.

Hi father, Peter Wishart, said the teenagers had been setting each other on fire before wandering over to target his son.

He said: “It could have been a lot worse – it could have caught hold of him and burned him. It’s irresponsible behaviour with potentially dangerous consequences.

“It’s a form of intimidation. The park is there for younger children and I don’t want them to do it again. They need to know someone has taken notice.

“My wife is horrified. Anything could have happened and we would not have been there to do anything about it.”

Police Sergeant Ed Noble, of the Clifton Moor Safer Neighbourhood Team in York, said it was a “very concerning incident” which could have had serious consequences and had left the boy shaken.