'I fear my son's mugging will cause him to a join a gang for protection,' TV's Fern reveals

Fern Britton is afraid her teenage son will join a gang for protection after he was mugged for his mobile phone.

The television presenter confessed to viewers today that her 14-year-old son was threatened last week by a group of men while walking with a friend.

He escaped unharmed but was forced to hand over his mobile phone and valuables to a gang of thugs who drove past.

The This Morning host said: 'I don't have experience of a child in a gang yet, I might do, but I hope to God I don't.


This Morning presenter Fern Britton revealed her son had been the victim of a mugging

But she added: 'Last week my son was mugged with his friend. They passed a car with four people in it, parked up, and as they walked past they heard a noise behind them.

'One of the guys got out of the car and said, 'Can I borrow your phone mate?' and my son said, 'No, no, no,' and this guy said, 'It's ok, go on, it's alright mate', and my son said, 'no, no, no.' And he said, 'Right, empty your pockets.' 

'My son and his friend felt completely powerless. They emptied their pockets and gave him everything they had.

Fern Britton

The mother of four said she could understand how vulnerable youths would join gangs for protection

'And he got in the car with these people and went.

'My son and his friend ran round to his friend's parents' house, because fortunately they lived nearby. But it was that powerlessness.'

Miss Britton said her son couldn't remember the colour of the car or what the man looked like.

She added: 'I could see that a child who's been in that situation, for protection, would join a gang.'

Miss Britton has 14-year-old twin sons Jack and Harry, from her first marriage to TV executive Clive Jones, but she did not specify which one was mugged.

She lives with her second husband, This Morning's celebrity chef Phil Vickery, the twin boys and her two children with Mr Vickery, 12-year-old Grace and seven-year-old Winnie, at the family home in Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire.

She did not confirm whether the mugging took place near their home.

The mother of four revealed her son's mugging ordeal during a feature on the show to highlight the publication of Government advice to parents on how to spot if their child has joined a gang and how to deal with it.

Lyn Costello of the pressure group Mothers Against Murder, who helped write the advice booklet, Gangs: You and Your Child, described a case where a 15-year-old schoolgirl joined a gang after she was mugged.

She said the girl had previously done well academically at school and had not been in any trouble with teachers before.

But after she was mugged outside the school she went on to become friends with the mugger and joined the gang as a means of ensuring her own protection.

A spokesman for This Morning said: 'Sometimes Fern reveals personal details to illustrate a point in the show.

'But she will not be making any further comment about this incident or about her son.'

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