'Creepy' clown leaves people terrified in Portsmouth

A mystery clown has left the residents of Portsmouth terrified after wandering the city's streets.

Dozens of people have reported sightings of the "strange" character who wears a mask and a suit while holding a balloon.

He has also been seen riding a bicycle while speaking in a "creepy" voice at various locations around the city.

One resident claimed the clown chased her through a street after she took a picture of him.

A student at Portsmouth University told ITV News the clown tried to scare her as she walked through the city last week.

It is also claimed he entered a clothing store to scare shop assistants.

"He will not be welcome if he comes back again," worker Karen Wilcock said.

Many people took to social media to warn others to "beware" of the scary figure.

Dan Houghton suggested a certain caped crusader was necessary to defend the city.

But residents have been assured that the mystery clown is in fact a "harmless" schoolboy.

Andrea Hutchinson, manageress of Preloved Portsmouth, told Portsmouth News that the teenager is a regular customer in her shop and just likes to do "tricks".

"He is harmless. I can understand people being frightened though. But he’s just a kid," she said.

Portsmouth is not the first area to be left startled by the appearance of a mystery clown.

Last year, the so-called "Northampton Clown" began standing silently in streets across the town.