FIVE friends on their way to a school play had racist abuse hurled at them in the street by a drunken couple.
The boy and four girls, aged 14 and 15, were targeted on their way to St John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School in Colne.
Police are investigating and slammed the couple’s actions as ‘abhorrent’.
Pendle Council youth officer Manzar Iqbal, whose son Jamaal, 14, was racially abused, said the devastated teenagers were left in ‘floods of tears’.
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The youngsters, who were of Asian, Chinese and Lithuanian heritage, had stopped at Phillips Lane Chippy when the couple started calling them racist names and said ‘get out of our country’.
They left the chip shop but the pair followed and continued to harass them.
Jamaal, who was the lead actor in the play Happily Ever After, asked the couple why they were talking to them in that way, only to receive further abuse.
The group claims the woman then pushed one of the girls and, as Jamaal tried to help his friend, she grabbed him and tried to push him into the road.
Mr Iqbal said his son had been left fearful of going out alone after the incident.
The 47-year-old, who lives in Causey Foot, Nelson, said: “It’s left the children devastated. They were in floods of tears.
“I’ve known them all since they were in reception class and they are really nice, lovely children.
“They were just getting some tea before the play, at the chip shop a five-minute walk from their school, when out of nowhere this couple started shouting at them.
“They were just minding their own business, looking forward to the play. They would have never expected to be spoken to like that.
“I find it horrendous that children are having to face this in our streets. It’s terrible.
“In this day and age, our children should feel safe that they won’t be attacked like this in our own community.
“I was in London taking a group of children on a trip to Parliament as part of their development when I got the call. I was so worried I couldn’t sleep.”
Following the incident, two teachers from the school went to comfort the children and police searched for the offenders.
The woman had dark brown shoulder-length hair, tied in a pony tail. She was slim, had some teeth missing, and was wearing jogging bottoms. The man was in his mid-20s.
Insp Paul Goodall, of Pendle police, said: “These children were subjected to some serious, nasty racial abuse.
“This behaviour by these drunken people is absolutely abhorrent and completely unacceptable.
“Following the incident, a thorough search was conducted, but unfortunately the offenders weren’t found.
“We are continuing to investigate and are taking this very seriously.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on racial incidents and are very keen to identify these offenders.”
Anyone with information about the incident, on Friday, February 28 at 5pm, should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.