Syrian refugee attack: More than £130,000 raised for schoolboy victim as police guard teenage suspect’s house

Family of alleged attacker receive death threats after incident in Huddersfield

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 28 November 2018 10:22
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More than £130,000 has been raised to support a Syrian schoolboy who was the victim of a brutal “racially-aggravated assault” at a school in Huddersfield.

The crowdfunding page was launched after video of the attack was widely shared on social media and hundreds have donated.

The 15-year-old boy, who already has one arm in a cast, is seen being dragged to the ground by his neck by another boy, who then says “I’ll drown you,” while forcing water into his victim’s mouth.

Despite a large crowd gathering, after the attack the boy frees himself and walks away alone.

The boy’s family is believed to have fled the Syrian city of Homs, the location of a three-year siege by the Syrian military, between 2011 and 2014.

The GoFundMe page said his younger sister had also been a victim of bullying.

On social media, people from Huddersfield identified a 16-year-old they said was the attacker. His Facebook page showed far-right links, support for Tommy Robinson and backing for Boris Johnson’s refusal to apologise for saying women in burkas look like letterboxes.

Family members of the boy said to be the attacker were also identified and received death threats online.

Police were reportedly sent to the teenager’s house after his details were shared last night.

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, said he had been supporting the boy and his family.

He tweeted: “Video of assault against one of my constituents absolutely shocking.

“Have been supporting the family since it was first brought to my attention.

“Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given!”

Superintendent Steve Dodds, of West Yorkshire Police Kirklees District, said: "We are investigating a report of a racially-aggravated assault of a 15-year-old boy which occurred on playing fields at Almondbury Community School at about 1pm on 25 October.

"A 16-year-old boy has been interviewed by voluntary attendance in connection with the incident and we are continuing to progress the investigation."

Kirklees Council said: “Neither us nor the school condone violence in any form and behaviour like this will not be tolerated.”

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Mohammed Tahir who set up the page, said: “After seeing the video of Jamal being bullied I had an idea of setting up a Go Fund Me page for Jamal and his family. I’m overwhelmed by the support that we’ve received and I can’t thank everyone enough for the generous donations they have made. I am working alongside GoFundMe so we can make sure every last penny gets to the family and I want to thank them for their support.

“I hope we can improve the quality of their life and put a smile on their faces.

“Bullying will not be tolerated, and I firmly stand against it. It has no place in our society, our love will always overcome hate. We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

A spokesperson for GoFundMe said: “We are in control of the funds and working with the person who set up the page to make sure they will get to [the boy].”

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