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American student scarred for life by bottle attack just three days after arriving in Britain

Francesco Hounye is now considering his future in the UK
  • @Tom_Mendelsohn

Police in London are appealing for help after a newly arrived American student was left scarred for life in a vicious bottle attack in June.

Francesco Hounye, 22, had only been in the UK three days when he was attacked by a gang of five youths in East London because he was “obviously not local”.

CCTV footage shows five Asian men setting upon the Floridan, before smashing the bottle he’d been drinking from into his face and chasing him over the road, punching and kicking him.

The attack took shortly after midnight, while Mr Hounye was walking with a friend back to their flat in Shadwell, after they’d been out in Brick Lane.

Police say it’s unclear what caused the fight, but it quickly became heated, leaving Mr Hounye in hospital.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital with deep slash wounds to his head and around his right ear. He needed 23 stitches to his face and more stitches internally. He has suffered permanent scarring and a chipped tooth.

Mr Hounye has said he is now considering his future in the UK.

"As a result of this incident I am now scared to go out on my own in London,” he said. "I am a visitor to the UK and was considering continuing my studies here but this incident has made me think twice.

"I feel very emotional about the whole situation. I also now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that will be left on my face as a result of this attack. Every time I look in the mirror from now on I will be reminded of this incident."

He admitted to the Evening Standard that despite everything, he still loves the city.

“When I first came here I fell in love with London and I still think it is beautiful but now I am aware that it is also dangerous,” he said.

The suspects have yet to be identified, despite extensive enquiries, so the police have released the CCTV footage, in the hopes that the men can be identified. They are described as Asian, and aged in their late teens to early 20s. They are possibly Bengali.