THE family of a Wordsley schoolboy whose brand new mountain bike was stolen from inside the school gates have hit out at the offender who carried out the "mean and despicable" act.

Brook Primary School pupil Rhys Wooldridge had been riding to and from school every day since early January on his new bright orange Carrera Vengeance which he'd bought with money given to him for his birthday and Christmas.

The 11-year-old from Brierley Hill had left his bike inside the school grounds as usual on Monday February 24 but - unlike other days - he was unable to lock up the striking £350 bicycle and within a couple of hours it had been snatched.

A man, described as in his 50s and with a beard, was reportedly seen struggling to haul the bike over the school fence and a member of the public attempted to challenge the offender but was unable to stop him getting away with the prized bicycle.

Rhys's mum Natalie Jones said the incident had left the youngster "heartbroken" and she added: "He's gutted. It's such a shame. I'm just grateful he wasn't hurt for it.

"I can't believe somebody would jump the fence into a school to steal a kid's bike."

Rhys's great-grandmother Carole Fereday, aged 76, who was so incensed about the incident she decided to contact the News, said: "It’s got to be one of the meanest tricks anybody can do. He’d saved everything he’d been given throughout the year to buy it. I feel absolutely heartbroken and angry that somebody could do something so mean and despicable."

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We are investigating reports of a bicycle being stolen from Brook Primary School in George Street, Wordsley, at about 10.45am on Monday (February 24).

"Anyone with information can contact us, quoting crime reference number 20DY/50441K/20, via Live Chat at between 8am and midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."