THREE children narrowly escaped serious injury after an arrow was fired into their garden.

Steve Dear, his two sons Harry and Freddy and niece Eva were just yards away from where the huge arrow landed in their garden in Hadleigh on Saturday night.

The children, aged six, seven and four, had been sleeping in their tent for the night, and woke to discover the arrow deeply embedded in the ground.

Southend Standard:

The arrow was stuck deep into the ground

Gemma Dear, 37, Steve's wife, said it has left the family shocked.

She said: "They didn't notice it at first, Steve had come in and was making breakfast in the kitchen when he looked out and saw the arrow sticking out.

"We thought it was a toy at first, but when we dug it out we saw how sharp it was. It had stuck itself deep into the ground so it must have been fired with a lot of force.

"We have no idea where it came from, but it's like it's been used as a weapon.

"If it had landed a few yards away it could have easily gone through the tent and resulted in disaster."

She added: "It's left us feeling quite worried. The spot where it landed is where our dog normally goes when we let her out.

"For someone to have something like that and go through the effort to fire it right into our garden must mean there was some kind of intent."

Southend Standard:

Harry and Freddy Dear were camping in the garden

An Essex Police spokesman said: "It was reported that the family had woken up to find an archery arrow which had landed in their back garden.

"The arrow appeared as though it had been fired over the front of the property.

"The arrow has D&Q Archery written on it.

"If anyone has any knowledge of this or know of anyone within the Hadleigh area using an archery set unsupervised please let us know.

"Potentially this could of had life changing injuries if it had hit the occupants of this house."

Anyone with information should call 101.

Southend Standard:

The arrow was seized by the police