Five charged after mob of 30 attacked asylum teen
Police have charged five people over an unprovoked attack on a 17-year-old Iranian-Kurdish asylum-seeker by a mob of up to 30 people in London.
The five, who included two pairs of siblings, were charged with violent disorder. One was also charged with racially aggravated grievous bodily harm following the attack in Croydon. Three others remain in custody.
Police said a group of youths approached the teen at a bus stop and questioned him. On learning he was an asylum-seeker, they chased him through the streets and beat him. The attack stopped only after police sirens could be heard and bystanders intervened.
The teen has been hospitalised with a fractured skull and a blood clot on the brain but police say he is starting to make a recovery and may be moved out of intensive care soon.
Detectives are trying to find the victim's family, who live in Iran.
"I think this was probably confidence by numbers," Det-Supt Jane Corrigan said. "It started off with this smaller group of people, who were joined by between 20 to 30, and they just viciously attacked this individual because they were an asylum-seeker."
The attack has prompted strong condemnation from London's mayor and police officials.