Tot punched at play area

19 month old Pharrell Henry who was attacked in a play area
19 month old Pharrell Henry who was attacked in a play area
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A WOMAN whose one-year-old grandson was hurt by another child in an attack at a Sheffield play centre has criticised the company’s security arrangements.

Pharrell Henry, from Waterthorpe, was playing with his sister Elexia, five, in Monkey Bizness at Meadowhall when he was punched by a six-year-old boy who had wandered into the toddlers’ play area.

Pharrell’s 52-year-old grandmother, from Beighton, said he was thrown “about five feet” before landing on his face, and his attacker then stood “pointing and laughing” at him.

She said the incident wasn’t captured on CCTV as Monkey Bizness’ existing security cameras do not record footage and claimed there were only six staff patrolling the centre on the day of the incident.

Roger Tomey, the firm’s regional manager, said: “As the UK’s largest chain of family entertainment centres we take the security and safety of all of our members very seriously.

“We are very sorry Pharrell was pushed by another child and apologise to the family for the obvious distress that this caused.

“In addition to our current policy of asking parents to supervise their children at all times we are also reviewing our procedures to see where we can improve in the future.”

Pharrell’s grandmother, who didn’t want to be named, said she was supervising the two children at around 12.30pm when she spotted the six-year-old.

“He came out of this little archway with his fists clenched, and punched my grandson with both fists on the lower part of his neck,” she said. “Pharrell went flying. The boy ran off to the back of the place and I ran after him.”

She added the area is set aside for children aged under two.

“Nobody was aware this child was in this place running around freely,” she said. “It was totally outrageous.”