THE mayor of Cardigan and his consort were involved in a frightening street attack when they attended the Victorian Night in Newcastle Emlyn.

Cllr Melfydd George and his daughter-in-law, Genna George, were targeted by youths as they left the event on Wednesday at about 9.30pm.

Cllr George gave chase but was unable to catch up with the lads.

The mayor of Newcastle Emlyn, Cllr Alan Jones, said afterwards that he regretted the incident.

"I am disgusted and ashamed of this behaviour. I invited someone to town as a guest and I am appalled that this could happen here. The police are investigating this very regrettable incident. We do not know yet whether the youngsters involved were local," he told the Tivy-Side. Cllr Jones said that there were no other incidents during the evening.

Cllr George and Mrs George were attacked from behind as they returned to their car near the mart toilets. They were both in full official regalia for the festivities and their hats were stolen by two youngsters.

"It could have been very serious. The incident gave us a proper scare," said Cllr George. "The two lads run up behind us and grabbed a hat each and I turned straight away and ran after them and shouted, but they were gone."

He dialled 999 from the local phone kiosk. "I was put through to Newport, Monmouthshire, so it took a lot of time before I got a local response," he said.

"While we were waiting someone came up to Genna and gave her the hats back. I was very please to get them, since they are part of the official robes of the Mayor. I wouldn't have dared come back to Cardigan without them."

Cllr George added: "As it turned out it was a prank, a bit of mischief and we got the hats back. But it gave us a real scare and I was really shaking. You do not know when someone comes at you from behind like that if they have a knife and intend to do harm. They were so quick, we didn't have a chance. I thought they were after the mayor's chain."