A FATHER spoke of his shock after his 13-year-old autistic son was attacked by a gang of four schoolboys.

Robert Palmer, of Canvey, was delighted when Jack - who has the social ability of a five-year-old child due to his autism - was invited out to play by four boys.

However, the group quickly turned on the teenager.

Businessman Mr Palmer, who owns Back 2 Bed, in Canvey Road, told how the gang dismantled Jack’s scooter before they kicked and punched him.

He said: “The boys that came to the door were very polite and asked if Jack could come out and play with them. They went round to the horse paddock at the side of the house.

“One of them had allen keys for some reason and used them to dismantle his scooter. One of the boys then used the scooter parts to threaten him.

“He told Jack to go to Rayleigh with him, or he would kill him.

“Another boy used the scooter parts to smack him on the back of the head and punched him.”

Luckily, Jack was able to get away. He fled home and told Mr Palmer and his mum, Tracy, who were horrified to hear of the assault.

Mr Palmer was able to track down the youngsters and has since spoken to their parents. He has reported the incident, which took place at about 5pm on Monday, to the police. Jack was shaken but not badly hurt.

Mr Robert said this is not the first time the youngster, who was home schooled until recently, has been attacked.

Before his parents pulled him out of school, they claim Jack was beaten up “daily”.

Mr Palmer said: “We have gone to one school and they said they couldn’t take him because he would get beaten up.

“Our other son, Harry, 11, has very bad ADHD and the school will only take him for an hour a day.

“It is all really affecting the family.”

He praised the Canvey community for rallying round to organise a special fun day for Jack. Details have not yet been finalised - but Mr Palmer said the teenager will “love it.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Officers are investigating a report that a 13-year-old boy was threatened by teenage boys.

“The victim’s scooter was damaged during the incident, and threats made against him.

“Enquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Secondary schools handle their own mid-year admissions, however we are always happy to provide parents with help and advice.”