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Schoolboy, 14, suffers dented SKULL saving 13-year-old girl from thug who battered them with metal bar in unprovoked attackCallum Leonard helped Jessica Wilde as man attacked them near schoolHe suffered 5cm gash to front of his head and 4cm wound above his ear
Jessica left with 7cm cut and grazes over her scalp as they fled onslaughtWere so frightened they ran for 15 minutes before stopping, says his motherWest Midlands Police appeal for information as they launch manhuntDetective: Psychological scars from 'brutal' attack will take some time to heal
16:14 GMT, 11 December 2012
A hero schoolboy suffered a dented skull as he helped his female friend escape a thug who battered them with a metal bar in an unprovoked attack, it emerged today.
Callum Leonard, 14, grabbed Jessica Wilde, 13, as she lay on the ground after they were set upon by a man in his 20s.
They had been sat on a playing field near Wallbank Primary School in Tipton, Birmingham, texting friends when the man launched at them at 5.40pm on November 20.
'Brutal attack': Fourteen-year-old Callum Leonard shows the horrific head wounds he suffered when he and schoolfriend Jessica Wilde were set upon by a man armed with an iron bar
Unprovoked: Jessica (left) suffered a 3in-long gash to her head, whle Callum (right) was left with two nasty cuts to his scalp as they fled the attacker on playing fields near a school in Birmingham
Despite suffering a severe gash on his head, Callum pulled Jessica to her feet before they ran away from the attacker.
Callum was hit so hard with the metal bar his skull was dented while Jessica suffered a 3in long gash on her head.
His proud mother Claire Leonard, from Tipton, said: 'The first I knew, I got a phone call to say they had been attacked, but I didn't know how bad it was.
'They had managed to run away, and when I got to them they were waiting for the ambulance with Jessica's dad.
'They had run for about 15 minutes before they stopped to ring anyone, they were that frightened.
'Callum's head was bleeding, and he'd got a 5cm cut on the front of his head, and a 4cm cut just above his ear. The blow has actually left a dent in his head.
'The man who attacked them never said anything to them, and although they were on their phones, he didn't seem interested in going after what they were carrying.'
'They were very lucky': Jessica's mother Louise Wilde (left) and Callum's mother Claire Leonard have paid tribute to Callum's bravery
Jessica's mother Claire Wilde, from Coseley, West Midlands, paid tribute to Callum, hailing him a 'little hero'.
She said: 'Jessica's got a 7cm cut on her head and grazes all over her scalp. She couldn't go horse-riding for two weeks afterwards and she's still not sure of going out.
'Before she would go out to friends' houses after school but now she's too scared.
'They are both very lucky considering what could have happened. Callum is our little hero for what he did.'
West Midlands Police have launched a manhunt for the attacker.
DC Gareth Homer, from Force CID, said: 'This was a completely random and brutal attack against two school children who were simply minding their own business.
'Both victims required hospital treatment for nasty injuries and, although they're recovering well, the psychological scars will take some time to heal.
'This could have been much worse and we have got to find the person responsible and bring him to justice.
'I believe the attacker was a white man, aged around 20. I would also appeal directly to the attacker to do the right thing and come forward to speak to us.'