Five-year-old cancer sufferer attacked with aerosol can

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The Independent Online

A girl of five who is battling cancer is recovering today after two boys sprayed an aerosol in her face and tried to set her alight.

Scarlett Hellewell had to be rescued by neighbours when the boys pinned her down and sprayed the deodorant in her face in Halifax, West Yorks.

She escaped with just bruises after the deodorant failed to ignite.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "It is reported the girl was playing when she was approached by two young boys who kicked and punched her before spraying an aerosol in her face and attempting to set her alight. The match did not ignite."

The two young boys, believed to be only 10 and seven, ran off when someone came to Scarlett's help on Tuesday evening. Officers are appealing for witnesses.

Scarlett's mother Paula, 38, a home support worker, said she was hoping to move away from the estate where they live.

She told the Yorkshire Post: "The sooner we move from here the better. I was disgusted when I heard what these boys had done, though this is not the first time they have attacked her.

"Scarlett's brain tumour is getting bigger and this was the last thing we needed to happen."

Neighbour Adele Brearley, 30, told the Yorkshire Post: "Scarlett was really upset and her eyes were sore where they had sprayed deodorant. If they had managed to light the matches it would have been a lot worse."

Scarlett is suffering from a tumour which has left her blind in one eye and with marginal sight in the other.