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Prayers for Daniel's safe return

PUBLISHED: 00:43 07 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

HOPE was the theme of today's assembly at Greenacre First School in Great Yarmouth as the hunt for missing pupil Daniel Entwistle continued.

Special prayers were said for seven-year-old Daniel who has been missing since 5pm on Saturday from his home in Great Yarmouth.

HOPE was the theme of today's assembly at Greenacre First School in Great Yarmouth as the hunt for missing pupil Daniel Entwistle continued.

Special prayers were said for seven-year-old Daniel who has been missing since 5pm on Saturday from his home in Great Yarmouth.

His distressed parents Paula and David, attended the special assembly and renewed their appeals to the 447 pupils to let somebody know if they saw Daniel or knew where he was.

Head teacher Keith Egleton spoke of the mood in the assembly. "Obviously it's a difficult time but the theme was one of hope. We had Daniel's mum Paula and Dad David who renewed their appeal to the children. School's minister Reverend Irene led the prayers and asked for Daniel's safe return.

"As I said the theme was of hope and we are all still optimistic."

Mr Egleton said Daniel's mum's description of him as a "mischievous seven-year-old" was accurate and said Daniel kept staff at the school on their feet.

"He is a delightful little boy and his disappearance has left a big gap – we miss him a great deal."

Before school started today teaching staff had been briefed and Mr Egleton said his teachers were well equipped to deal with situations such as this and that everybody at school will be listening to and supporting the children.

He said: "The children are handling the situation incredibly well, they are back at school and we are trying to carry on as normal and as usual as we can."

His words were true, as at play time younger children were out in the playground enjoying the mid-morning sun.

Reverend Irene Knowles said: "The community is very sad and very shocked. It is a very close knit community so many, many people have been out searching for Daniel."

Around Daniel's home on the Barrack Estate, pockets of people gathered and there was only one topic of the day – 'Where is Daniel?'

Brian Thaxter, 72, who lives in a nearby street said: "Everybody is upset, my wife and I can't stop thinking about him. What's happened is still a mystery and my thoughts are with his parents."

Mr Thaxter said since Daniel's disappearance less children are playing outside at night. "The older boys are still out at 11pm but not the younger ones. Parents are keeping a very close eye on their children at this moment."

Robert Chaplin, 65, of Barkis Road said: "I didn't know him but I have chased him out of my garden before – he's just a typical seven-year-old. The situation is horrible and I can't begin to imagine how his family are feeling."

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