Mum is shot by air rifle hooligans

Clare Atherton on Wigan Road in Bryn where the shooting took place
Clare Atherton on Wigan Road in Bryn where the shooting took place

A WIGAN mum of two has spoken of her terror as mindless yobs shot her.

Clare Atherton suffered a suspected fractured thumb after the horrific drive-by attack.

The 32-year-old told the Evening Post that she feels lucky to have escaped with only a minor injury but that she fears a child could be caught in the crossfire next time.

Clare, of Dovedale Road, Ashton, said: “I was walking along a street by my house with my mother, it was about 9pm but it was still light.

“I remember a car coming towards us and I heard a screech of tyres and a loud noise and then a sound as if something had pinged into the fence to our side.

“It was not until a few moments later that I realised my hand was gushing with blood and I thought ‘I’ve been shot’.”

Clare, mum to seven-year-old Aaron and four-year-old Mia Grace, then rushed home and reported the incident to the police before going to hospital for her wound to be treated. Doctors believe the knuckle of her thumb may be fractured but advised her to return to hospital once the swelling has gone down.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they were aware of the incident although despite Clare describing similar incidents occurring in the Ashton and Bryn area, they had not received any formal reports.

A GMP spokesman said: “We will keep the details on our file so that if any other incidents do occur we will consider them at that time.”

Clare, who felt compelled to share her story to help prevent future incidents and warn the public, added: “I wish I had seen more of the car, but I didn’t see much of it and it sped away quickly straight afterwards. I was more concerned at the time with my hand and my instinct took over.

“I have since heard that there have been a few similar incidents of this kind around here and these people need to be stopped.

“I’m a mother and I dread to think what could have happened if there were little kids involved if this happens again. That’s why I want to make people aware of what has happened and maybe why I’m the only one to have come forward.

“It just seems like a random attack and they can’t have meant to hit my hand. What if they hit a child in the chest? I think the police need to look into it and prevent it from happening again.”

Anyone with information about this incident that occurred on Wigan Road, Bryn, last Wednesday at just after 9pm, or other similar offences, is urged to call Wigan Police on 101.