A homeless man has been charged with attempted murder following the stabbing of two young boys in a country lane near Havant, Hampshire on Friday afternoon (26 June).

A statement published by Hampshire Police says Richard Michael Walsh, 43, and of no fixed abode, faces two charges of attempted murder and one of actual bodily harm. He is in custody and will appear before Portsmouth Magistrates Court tomorrow.

The two boys, who have not been named but are aged, 12 and 13, were attacked as they walked home from Warblington School. They remain in a serious condition at Southampton General Hospital. The condition of both boys has been described as serious but stable.

An eyewitness to Friday's attack told Portsmouth.co.uk: "I was walking along Horndean Road at 3.30pm, just as the children were coming out of St James Primary School and Warblington School.

Southampton General Hospital
The stabbed children in Havant are being treated at Southampton General Hospital. Southern Health NHS Trust

"There was a very loud helicopter circling above and all the mums and children were wondering what was going on. The police had put up a cordon stopping anyone going into Southleigh Road. There were lots of police cars and an ambulance.

"I saw a few young girls on the side of the road very upset."

Prior to the attack, there had been warnings in the area about a strange man exposing himself to children.

On the website of Warblington School an undated notice read: "We would ask parents to ensure that their children are extra vigilant during their journey to and from school as there has been an incident of exposure to a student from this school within the last 24 hours. The police are involved."