Monday 29 May 2017

Five charged over 'hate-crime' attack that left teen asylum seeker fighting for life

Police issue pictures of three youths they are looking to locate

A general view shows a bus stop near the Goat Pub in Croydon, London, Britain April 2, 2017. Local media quoted neighbours saying that a group of up to 20 people watched a gang attack a teenage asylum seeker at a bus stop in south London, on Friday. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A general view shows a bus stop near the Goat Pub in Croydon, London, Britain April 2, 2017. Local media quoted neighbours saying that a group of up to 20 people watched a gang attack a teenage asylum seeker at a bus stop in south London, on Friday. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Five people have been charged over an attack which left a teenage asylum seeker fighting for his life.

Earlier police in London issued pictures of two men and a woman sought in connection with the attack on a 17-year-old Kurdish Iranian who was set upon at a bus stop in Croydon, south-east London.

Eight people were being held on suspicion of attempted murder following a series of arrests over the weekend.

The Metropolitan Police said they know "approximately 20" people were involved in the incident that left the boy with a fractured skull and a blood clot on his brain.

Graffiti is seen on a wall near the scene of a violent attack in Croydon, London, Britain April 2, 2017. Local media quoted neighbours saying that a group of up to 20 people watched a gang attack a teenage asylum seeker at a bus stop in south London, on Friday. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Graffiti is seen on a wall near the scene of a violent attack in Croydon, London, Britain April 2, 2017. Local media quoted neighbours saying that a group of up to 20 people watched a gang attack a teenage asylum seeker at a bus stop in south London, on Friday. REUTERS/Neil Hall

On Monday police renewed their appeal for witnesses and information as the victim remained in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Detective Inspector Gary Castle, from Croydon CID, said: "Whilst arrests have been made, we now know that a large number of people, approximately 20, were involved in the attack on the victim.

"A number of them approached the victim as he waited at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat public house in the Shrublands.

"It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack. He sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers."

He added: "If you can help identify any of these people please call my team without delay."

Neighbours claimed up to 20 people watched while the teenager was kicked and beaten on the ground.

One resident of Shrublands Avenue told the Press Association: "There were more than eight people, there was a massive group coming up from The Goat pub.

"You couldn't see who was hitting who.

"There was one person, the one who ended up in hospital, he was getting absolutely beaten up - kicked, mostly in the facial area. He was getting kicked and punched by everyone.

"There was a group of roughly 10 people that was kicking and punching him, and the rest, another 10 or 20, were all just around watching.

"Then when they heard sirens they started to go."

The resident said witnesses had to wait until the group moved off before they could help. The attack has drawn widespread condemnation, with Tory minister Gavin Barwell describing the attackers as "scum".

Mr Barwell, Croydon Central's MP, said: "It's an appalling crime and I hope the people responsible are caught quickly and receive the full force of British justice."

London mayor Sadiq Khan also criticised the attack, saying hate crime "has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else", while the Refugee Council said it was "disgusted" by the assault.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also denounced it, saying: "Absolutely shocked at attack on young Kurdish asylum seeker, who came here searching for safety. I fervently hope he makes a full recovery."

Scotland Yard said a 23-year-old man was arrested in Croydon on Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder, while a 26-year-old man and 17-year-old girl were detained on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder.

Five other people are still being questioned by detectives while a sixth, a woman aged 20, was released without charge.

The group - three men aged 20, one aged 24 and a 24-year-old woman - are also being held on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder.

Anyone with information about the attack should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Press Association

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