A MAN who tried to snatch a three-year-old girl in a Southampton park was foiled by her mother.

Detectives are investigating claims the man attempted to walk off with the girl in Riverside Park yesterday.

They said the child was playing near to her mother when a man came along and lifted her up into his arms.

The mother challenged the man and took her daughter from him. He then walked off towards Cobden Bridge in Bitterne Park.

It happened at about 3.30pm near the miniature railway and children's play park.

The man was described as white with a slight tan, aged 35 to 40 years old, around 5 feet 7 inches tall, and of slim build.

He had a gaunt face with prominent cheekbones, short dark hair and a stubbly goatee beard.

The man was wearing a black T-shirt and dark baggy stonewashed jeans.

Police are appealing for witnesses. Contact Bitterne CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.