A police spokesperson has confirmed that a full investigation is underway after ‘Trick or Treat yobs’ attached a family’s pet hamster to a ROCKET and set it off in Southend on Saturday night. According to outraged parents Jonathan and Marie Ascendon of Fairfax Drive, four boys aged between 6 and 9 took their daughter Isabelle’s beloved rodent Jeremy and launched it on a firework after they refused to hand over any sweets.

Disgusted Dad Jonathan said: ‘We had a knock on the door at 11pm, and when I answered there were four young boys standing and grumbling ‘Trick or Treat.’ I told them that it was too late in a very polite manner and sent them on their way, but they obviously just went and hid outside for a few minutes and then knocked again.’

‘When I returned and opened the door, I was horrified to see that they had my daughter’s hamster Jeremy, and I realised that one of them must have forced our back door open and taken him from the cage in the living room. They had attached him to a rocket and were lighting the fuse at the bottom.’

‘By the time I figured out what was going on it was too late, and the rocket shot into the air with the sickening sound of a high pitched squeal that was getting more and more muffled as it gained height. The boys then ran off into the night and I just stood there in a stunned silence.’

‘I sat downstairs for a good hour thinking about how I was going to break the news to Isabelle when all of a sudden my phone rang. Miraculously, Jeremy had somehow managed to land in the rear compound of South Essex Pillows in Westcliff On Sea – a local vet had scanned his microchip and found my details on there.’

‘We had to trim a few singed hairs around his bottom, but otherwise I am delighted to say that Jeremy is unharmed. He has been a little reluctant to sit down throughout Sunday, but the vet has given us some special wood shavings to use in his litter area and he should be back to his usual chirpy self in a few days.’

Det. Ins. Orville Wright of Southend CID told our Chief Reporter that the incident is being investigated as a ‘matter of extreme urgency.’

He added: ‘Our officers are working flat out to find these children and contact their parents to let them know that it is unacceptable to abuse the Trick or Treat tradition in this manner. As it stands, when they are caught they will be on a charge of Attempted Rodenticide at the very least, and we intend to prosecute them under the full extent of the law.’

‘We have an excellent track record in this field, as we demonstrated when the Catherine Wheel Six were brought to justice in 2011. Thankfully the kitten involved has now grown into a healthy adult tom, and apart from the occasional bout of vertigo he is able to lead a normal life.’