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Young footballer fights for life

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

TEENAGE footballer Benjamin Goddard was today still fighting for his life after being stabbed at school.

Benjamin, 15, a student at Stradbroke High School, was left bleeding heavily and was later in a "critical but stable" condition in Ipswich Hospital.

TEENAGE footballer Benjamin Goddard was today still fighting for his life after being stabbed at school.

Benjamin, 15, a student at Stradbroke High School, was left bleeding heavily and was later in a "critical but stable" condition in Ipswich Hospital.

Another youth, also aged 15, was arrested in connection with the incident and is still in police custody at Bury St Edmunds. His home is in a village near Stradbroke.

Pupils and staff at the 360-pupil school were given counselling after the incident which left the whole rural community in shock.

Villagers were alerted to a major incident when a series of emergency vehicles converged on the school, with blue lights flashing.

As staff administered first aid before the arrival of paramedics, the rest of the pupils were evacuated from the building.

Benjamin was taken 25 miles to Ipswich Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery before being transferred to the intensive care unit.

Police confirmed he was receiving treatment for "serious stab wounds to the stomach".

The school remained open all day although an area of the premises was cordoned off to allow work by forensic officers.

Benjamin's uncle, Andrew Goddard, said the boy's parents and grandmother, Sylvia, were at the bedside.

The youngster, who lives locally and is a former pupil of Stradbroke Primary School, is known for his talents as a soccer player and is a member of Norwich City's youth academy.

Det Supt Stewart Gull, senior investigating officer, said full co-operation was being given in what was a "delicate and serious" inquiry.

The incident happened just before 10.30am, but the decision was taken to keep the other pupils at the school for the rest of the day with police guarding the school gate.

Most of the children live outside Stradbroke and travel there by school bus from rural areas.

Headteacher Dave Shorten said: "I can confirm that there has been a serious incident involving two 15-year-old pupils at the school. One pupil is now in hospital and the other has been arrested.

"We are co-operating fully with the police as they conduct their enquiries.

"We are working in close partnership with senior officers of the Local Education Authority who have provided us with counselling support for students and staff.

"We have kept the school running as normal and we will be sending a letter home to all parents today telling them what has happened."


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