A 13-YEAR-OLD boy has been left with a serious eye injury after a missile was fired at him in Poole.

Police believe the schoolboy could have been struck by a projectile fired from a catapult, BB gun or air gun. No weapon or projectile has been found.

Now they have appealed for help to find the person responsible.

The boy was walking along Wimborne Road, close to its junction with Tatnam Road and the Co-op food store, between 8pm and 8.15pm on New Year’s Eve when the incident took place.

Officers said the boy was startled by a noise behind him and when he turned around, he was hit by something in his eye.

DC Sara Watts from Bournemouth CID said: “The boy is currently undergoing specialist hospital treatment to ascertain the level of injury and hopefully to avoid any permanent damage to his eye. As a result, we’ve not been able to get full details from him yet.

“The area will have been busy at that time of night on New Year’s Eve, potentially with people stocking-up on last minute items from the shops there. I would like to hear from anyone who saw something suspicious or who remembers seeing the injured boy after the incident.”

Police are particularly keen to speak to two Good Samaritans, believed to be older teenagers, at a bus stop who helped the victim.

DC Watts added: “Finally, I would appeal to the person responsible. This could have been a stupid ‘prank’ that has gone horribly wrong or the consequence of you messing around with a new item you received for Christmas.

“You possibly did not realise it would cause such a serious injury. Do the right thing and come forwards to let us know what happened, rather than waiting for us to find you.”

A nearby resident told the Daily Echo: “It’s a bit of a shock to hear this has happened, although at the same time it doesn’t really surprise me as it has been going down hill around here recently.

“The Coop has been broken into before and there are youths who pop up and get up to no good around here.”

Anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 31:307.