Sister of Syrian refugee boy assaulted in Huddersfield 'also attacked in video'

Footage comes after 16-year-old charged with assault for attack at Almondbury Community School

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 29 November 2018 09:32
Video shared on social media shows two girls attacking a Syrian refugee
Video shared on social media shows two girls attacking a Syrian refugee

The younger sister of a Syrian refugee assaulted in Huddersfield has also been attacked on camera at the same school, new footage shows.

Film of the attack on the girl, at Almondbury Community School, shows her being shoved from behind by one girl before another chases her down a grass bank as she backs away, eventually falling to the ground.

At the beginning of the video the person filming it can be heard laughing and saying, “alright, go for it.”

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: “We have been made aware of a video showing a girl being assaulted at Almondbury Community School.

“The incident had not previously been reported to the police but we are now liaising with the girl’s family who we are continuing to support.”

The family's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said it is the boy's 14-year-old sister and she was attacked on Tuesday morning.

The emergence of the video follows the widely shared footage of the assault on her 15-year-old brother, in which he was seen being dragged to the ground by his neck and having water poured over his face by a 16-year-old boy.

The older boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is to be charged with assault.

​“He has been reported for summons, for an offence of assault,” a spokesperson for West Yorkshire police said. “He will appear at youth court in due course.

“The incident occurred on 25 October at Almondbury Community School and has been subject to thorough investigation since it was reported to us the day after. The victim and his family are receiving ongoing support from police and other agencies.”

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who also chairs the all party group on bullying, said after news of the attack spread, there had been a “tremendous positive reaction from many people in Huddersfield trying to help the family”.

Speaking to the Radio 4 Today programme he said: “They have been stunned, I think is the right word, by the generosity of people who have raised all this money, but also by people bringing food to the door, people inviting them into their homes.”

But he also warned some people were seeking to use the incident for their own political ends.

He said: “As soon as something like this happens, you hear of people trying to manipulate the situation. I hear there’s going to be a demonstration today. People coming in from Bradford to demonstrate outside our school. Making political capital out of it.”

Police have appealed to members of the public not to share footage of the alleged assault of the boy on social media as it could prejudice criminal proceedings.

The attack has prompted an outpouring of anger and sympathy for the Syrian boy and his relatives, with well-wishers so far donating more than £123,000 for the family on a crowdfunding page.

The 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.