London

Seven charged over asylum teen attack in Croydon

Bus stop in Croydon
Image caption The boy was waiting at a bus stop in Croydon with two friends when he was chased and then attacked

Two sets of siblings were among seven people charged over an attack on a teenage asylum seeker in south London.

Kurdish-Iranian Reker Ahmed was chased and subjected to a "brutal attack" in Croydon last Friday night.

The 17-year-old was left with a fractured spine, fractured skull and a bleed on his brain after the assault.

The seven were charged with violent disorder, while one was also charged with racially aggravated GBH.

Police said about 20 people were involved in the assault.

Barry Potts, 20, and siblings Daryl Davis, 20 and Danyelle Davis, 24, were released on conditional bail after appearing at Croydon Magistrates' Court earlier.

George Walder, 20, who was also charged with racially aggravated grievous bodily harm, has been remanded in custody.

His brother Jack Walder, 24, was granted conditional bail.

Kyran Evans, 23, and a 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged and are due to appear in court on Tuesday.

Image caption Police are investigating whether the group had been drinking in The Goat pub

In total, 16 people have been arrested. Seven remain in custody.

Det Supt Jane Corrigan said she was confident everyone responsible for the assault would be arrested.

"There was no reason for this attack and I believe because of the numbers involved people have just jumped on the back of it and it's turned into a violent brawl where someone has been viciously beaten and is very lucky to have not lost his life," she said.

"There was only one motivation and that was to cause serious damage."

The incident happened in Shrublands Avenue at 23:40 BST on Friday. A white hatchback with a black roof is being sought by officers.

Mr Ahmed, a student who has lived in Croydon for months, has started to make a recovery, police said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Graffiti has appeared near the scene of the attack in support of refugees

It is hoped he will be moved out of intensive care soon although his face, which police say was the main focus of the attack, will be left with lasting scars.

Officers are still trying to contact his family who they believe live in Iran.

He was with friends Dilshad Mohammed, an Iraqi Kurd, and Hamo Mustafa when he was set upon, police said. He was not previously known to the assailants.

Officers are trying to establish if the attackers had been drinking at a nearby pub prior to the assault.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the assault as "absolutely despicable" and urged anyone with information to contact police.