10/10/2012 14:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Toddler Found In Road Half A Mile From Nursery

Toddler found half a mile away after leaving nursery without being noticed Alamy Picture posed by model

A nursery has apologised to a mum after staff failed to notice her three-year-old son Alifie Stokes had gone walkabout and was found HALF A MILE away.

Staff only discovered Alfie was missing when his mum Natasha went to collect him from his playgroup on Friday.

Gripped with panic, she found him a few minutes later looking lost and confused in a road nearby. The mum said she feared he could have easily been snatched by a paedophile.

She said she now fears for his safety and is reluctant to let him return to Robinswood Primary School in Gloucester.

Head teacher Martin Latham admitted: "It was a mistake and it shouldn't have happened."

Natasha, said she wept at the roadside as she comforted her son on Friday.

She said: "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My heart was in my throat. Alfie could have been kidnapped or killed. I couldn't help but think of little April Jones.

"I was crying my eyes out and he was very confused so I just cuddled him.

"I asked him what he was doing there and he said that his teacher had let him go."

Four members of staff were present at the pre-school, but Alfie managed to bypass them all.

The school installed a new security gate at the weekend and Mr Latham held talks with the mother yesterday.

He said: "We have a clear system of how the children leave the pre-school. We thought we had a secure system but something went wrong.

"It can be quite congested at home time and I think he had got out around the back. "We have looked into it straight away and over the weekend we installed a new gate.

"It is not an excuse and we hold our hands up to it - it is ultimately my responsibility."

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