People's Park Lake
© Jon Corken
It could happen again: The lake at People's Park, where a number of ducklings were attacked by youths.
A huge public reaction has erupted over the "vile" and "disgusting" slaughter of ducklings in People's Park - and it may not be an isolated incident.

The RSPCA has launched an investigation after eyewitnesses saw youths smash duck eggs, throw birds to one another and even drop-kick a duckling.

They are also investigating claims that some ducklings were stomped on and that a live bird was posted through the letterbox of a resident living near the park.

The story, published on yesterday's front page, has sparked public outrage, with many claiming both the children and their parents should be severely punished.

And one man contacted the Telegraph to say that he had a duckling posted through his door three weeks before these incidents - proving it has happened before and could happen again.

The Patrick Street resident - who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions - said that afterwards, the children even had the nerve to knock on his door again and ask for it back so they could continue their cruel game.

He said: "It is worrying that this kind of thing is happening - and it will probably happen again.

"The parents will say they weren't there, but they should have been - other people manage to keep control of their kids."

Readers took to Grimsby Telegraph website to chastise the "evil little toe-rags" - as one reader wrote - describing the crimes as "absolutely vile".

One reader, posting as dolphin73, suggested that such behaviour would mean anyone who looked into moving to Grimsby would be "put off" by the story.

That same reader, as well as others, also voiced concerns that those responsible could go on to more serious crimes.

Ian_Gillan wrote: "It's frightening but true that children who commit these sort of crimes typically go on to lives of extreme violence or even murderous psychopathy."

Others wrote that they should be "severely punished" - while some thought even a prison spell wouldn't be enough.

SpaldingGY posted: "Never mind what age they are - put pictures on front page with full addresses and then see how long the little cherubs remain on the streets."

Another reader, writing as mpc_v1, wrote: "Absolutely disgusting - may I suggest the kids being put into the stocks in the town centre and let everyone kick and stamp on them."