An eight-year-old boy was ordered to swallow a 5p piece in what has been described as a “frightening” random attack.

The boy was walking home from Broadfields Primary School, in Roseberry Drive, Edgware, when a man grabbed him from behind and put the coin into his mouth.

He also put a stick into the terrified child’s mouth to ensure he swallowed it, before running off towards an alleyway leading to Tayside Drive.

The child's mother was yards away with her three -year-old when it happened.

His parents, who have two other children, have now spoken to the Times Series to call for people to be more vigilant.

They say the incident has left their usually care free and happy boy “shaken.”

His father said: “What is scary, is that it happened on our door step, not 100 metres from my front door.

“In the summer time, there is a limit to where the children can play, and we only live 10 metres from a bus stop and closer to the school.

“I would like to think that there are good people out there and free spirit does exist even in a capital city.”

“If there is someone out there, well, we live on a closed road, with lots of children living here, and if a stranger walked down our street we would know.”

The boy was taken to hospital where an X-Ray confirmed the coin is still inside his stomach.

His parents believe it will be difficult to find the person responsible because there is no CCTV footage in the area.

His mother said: “I was only a few yards behind my son and carrying m three-year-old child when it happened.

“He was so close to me and so close to the school, and I have always felt safe in the area, but this is a worry, who knows what it could lead to?”

The Times Series has requested comment from the Metropolitan Police.