Boy's neck left with rope burn after cruel prank

An Australian boy was left with a bright red rope burn around his neck after what's believed to be a cruel prank.

Stuart Heath, 9, was riding his bike at the Centenary Oval in Port Lincoln in South Australia on Saturday afternoon when slammed into a rope tied between a flagpole and fence, 7 News reports.

He was thrown from his bike and received a bright red rope burn around his neck.

His mother, Katherine Price, said Stuart didn't see the rope as he rode toward it, and believes it was placed there deliberately.

"[Stuart] happened to see three kids around his age go running towards the box saying, oh 'ride faster, ride faster.'"

While the rope burn looks distressing, Stuart was left with minor injuries after being rushed to hospital.

"He couldn't breathe," she told 7 News.

"It might not have been for a long time but it was something that really shook him."

She believes her son could have been killed, and those responsible might not have realised what harm they could have caused.