London

Images released over Croydon asylum boy attack

Undated handout CCTV stills Image copyright PA

Images of three people have been released by police investigating the "brutal" attack of a teenage asylum seeker at a bus stop in London.

Witnesses said up to 20 people watched as the 17-year-old boy was kicked and punched in the assault in Shrublands Avenue, Croydon, on Friday.

The Kurdish-Iranian victim reportedly suffered a fractured skull and blood clot.

Eight people are being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder.

The Met wants to speak to the three people pictured in connection with the investigation.

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

Three people - two men aged 23 and 26 and a 17-year-old girl - were arrested on Sunday while four men and one woman, all aged 20 or 24 - were held on Saturday. All remain in custody.

One resident of Shrublands Avenue said: "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.

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

They added witnesses "couldn't do anything against a group of 30 people" and waited until they had moved on to help him.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The gang may have been in The Goat pub before the attack

The victim was waiting with two friends at the bus stop when he was set upon at about 23:40 BST.

Det Insp Gary Castle, from the Met Police, said: "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. A number of people came to the aid of the victim as he lay unconscious and injured following the assault.

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

"All communities stand together against hate. No-one should be subjected to violent behaviour, especially those who have come to London to seek refuge and a place of safety."

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

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the assault while Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell branded the attackers "scum".

He said though it was a "cowardly and despicable" attack, it was "not representative" of the community.

A JustGiving page set up for the victim has so far raised £4,500.


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