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A teenager has revealed the terrifying moment a ‘killer clown ‘ jumped over a fence and ran towards her as the bizarre craze sweeps the nation.

Leyland Kennedy, 14, was playing netball with her classmates when a clown-suited ‘prankster’ sparked panic and caused their game to be cancelled.

The pupils had to be rushed inside Thomas More Academy in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, while the figure in a red wig and blue jump suit was tackled to the ground by ‘police officers’.

Unimpressed Leyland told Chronicle Live : “They’re idiots with too much time on their hands. They need jobs, or something to do, because scaring high school kids, it’s just not right.”

She added: “I actually have a huge phobia of clowns, but I really didn’t care about this — I knew it was just an idiot.”

chroniclelive.co.uk Leyland Kennedy, a student at St Thomas More Academy, said youngsters were rushed inside after a sinister clown figure approached them

While she and many of her friends remained calm, she said some of the younger students had been seriously scared by what happened.

Mum Hayleigh, 35, said the disturbing stunt had ‘shocked’ parents in the neighbourhood.

She said: “We had an email before telling us there was a possibility this would happen, so I had already spoken to Leyland about it, but I didn’t actually think anything would happen.

“I spoke to a couple of other parents, we were all shocked this had actually gone on, that there are people out there who would actually do this.

“It’s pathetic, it really is — have they got nothing better to other than go around scaring kids?”

Seemingly part of a sinister American-inspired trend causing fear across the North East, police are dealing with dozens of incidents.

chroniclelive.co.uk Leyland branded people taking part in the craze as ‘idiots with too much time on their hands’

Mum-of-three Haleigh said she was impressed with how mature Leyland had handled the shock, but said she was now worried that Leyland’s ten-year-old brother and sister might come across another creepy prankster.

She added: “My neighbours have all heard what happened, their kids mainly go to Norham High School, and they’re all in an absolute panic that they are going to be targeted.”

Over the past week, the North East has been swept by the creepy craze, with a spate of reports clown-related incidents, ranging from the bizarre to the downright terrifying.

Northumbria Police said they were investigating up to six separate reports of clowns and issued a warning urging the so-called pranksters to put an end to the craze.

On Friday morning the craze reached a chilling new peak when four children were followed to school by a knife-wielding ‘killer clown’.

Google St Thomas More Academy where the figure dressed as a clown stormed a netball lesson

He is reported to have jumped out at the schoolkids – aged between 11 and 12 – while they were on their way to Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street at around 8.40am.

And at Ponteland Middle School, in Ponteland, Northumberland, students were also confronted by a man dressed as a clown on the school grounds.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.