A young boy with autism from Mansfield was left with a nail impaled in his head after an attack by cruel bullies.
Romeo Smith, nine, had a plank of wood thrown at him by an older boy which stuck him in the back of the head.
Horrific pictures show how the nail became embedded in his skin – narrowly missing his skull.
His mum Natasha, 30, said she has been walking home from her mother’s house with her three other children, which is just around the corner, and Romeo had lagged slightly behind.
“It’s usual for him to trail behind me a bit, because of his autism,” she said. “He likes to stop and look at things. So I was ahead of him slightly.”
When she entered the house she realised Romeo wasn’t behind her so his father Craig, 35, immediately went to check on him.
Craig found Romeo minutes from the family’s home, trapped in a tree by three boys who were brandishing sticks and were calling the boy cruel names.
As his dad approached Romeo came down from his perch, but as the pair walked away one of the boys picked up a plank of wood – which had a nail attached to it – and threw it, causing the nail to piece the skin at the back of his head
His panicked dad scooped Romeo up in his arms and ran home to Natasha, who is a nurse.
Not wanting to remove the nail for fear of causing Romeo any further injuries they rushed him to A&E.
Doctors gave him morphine and removed the nail, which they said had actually hit his skull, causing the nail to bend.
Natasha said: “My partner was terrified, and I was so upset but Romeo has been so brave.
“He has been given some antibiotics because the nail was so dirty, it had bugs on it and everything. The doctors were really amazing and he seems fine now but it was a horrible thing to happen.”
Natasha said if she could speak to the boys who had done this to her son she would tell them to stop bullying others.
“I don’t know whether it had anything to do with his autism, but I think they did see him as vulnerable,” she said.
“I would tell them to stop the name calling and the violence. I don’t want this to happen to another child.