Video: London rioters left me bleeding with a broken jaw, says student
A MALAYSIAN student who had been in Britain for a month when he was attacked during the London riots, yesterday relived the moment his jaw was broken in the assault.
Ashraf Rossli, 20, was cycling to keep a scared female friend company on Aug 8 last year when he was attacked and his bicycle stolen, Wood Green Crown Court heard.
Mr Rossli, an accountancy student, was cycling along a flyover in Barking, east London, when he and a friend, Sheikh Azher, were attacked. Questioned by Christopher Hehir, prosecuting, Mr Rossli said he managed to get through one group of rioters who grabbed his bike and rucksack only to be attacked by somebody in a second group.
He told the eight men and three women on the jury that he felt a hand take his mobile phone from his left jacket pocket and as he turned round to look, somebody punched him in the face, breaking his jaw in two places.
He said: “I turned left to see who took it and felt an impact from the right side. The impact was hard. I don’t know how it happened. I fell to the ground. Blood was coming out of my mouth.”
The student did not see who hit him but the prosecution allege it was a 17 year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons. The teenager admits stealing the bike but denies causing and inflicting grievous bodily harm. He also denies robbery.
The jury heard that the incident was captured on camera and received widespread publicity last year.
The defendant is not accused of being involved in a later crime in which the contents of Mr Rossli’s rucksack were allegedly taken by people posing as good Samaritans.
Two men will stand trial for that incident at a later date.
Mr Rossli, who has two metal plates in his jaw, was eventually helped by members of the public and treated at hospital.
His friend was uninjured and managed to cycle home.
Mr Hehir said a witness, Weng Tsang, was watching the attack unfold as his girlfriend Diana Frutos Perez recorded the scene on her mobile phone.
The barrister said one youth punched the victim.
“The same youth then rode off on the bike,” he said.
“Weng Tsang clearly heard the youth shout, 'Give me the bike,’ as he delivered the punch, and he also heard this male and his companions laughing.”
The defendant was arrested four weeks later and told police: “I can swear on my mother’s life, everyone’s life and my family I never touched him.”
Mr Hehir said the boy changed his account to detectives.
“When it was suggested to the defendant he was changing his story he said that he was not answering any more questions,” Mr Hehir said. “He made no comment to almost all of the remaining questions he was asked.”
The trial continues.