Five suspects arrested over 'vicious' racially-motivated attack on black girl, 15, banned from Surrey

10 February 2023, 18:23 | Updated: 11 February 2023, 06:49

Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large
Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large. Picture: Social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Five suspects arrested over a "vicious racially-motivated attack" on a 15-year-old black girl have been banned from Surrey.

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Police were called to the assault outside Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford, Surrey, at 2.30pm on Monday where they found the injured victim.

Shocking footage of the attack showed two girls, aged 15 and 16-years-old respectively, set upon the victim, who is black, with three other individuals.

The footage showed the girl's braids being ripped from her head, as a young girl, dressed in a pink track suit, continued to kick her head as part of the sustained attack.

Following the arrival of police, five people - a 39-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl, two 11-year-old girls (reports of their ages vary), and a 43-year-old man - were arrested.

On Friday, police confirmed the 39-year-old woman and 43-year-old man were both released on conditional bail, including being banned from entering Surrey.

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Protester speaks out after 'racially-aggravated attack' at site of college

Police are also urging another 15-year-old girl to hand herself in.

Addressing the girl directly, Chief Inspector Dallas McDermott said: "There's still one outstanding that we do need to arrest. That's a 15-year-old girl.

"She knows she's wanted, family members will obviously know she is wanted so my plea to her and family members is to hand yourself in at the nearest police station.

"That's not stopping us from making active inquiries to locate her. We have a number of officers... making those attempts to bring her into custody."

He described the incident as "disturbing" and said he is "disappointed" with the reaction of the public in the video.

Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large
Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large. Picture: Social media

Yesterday, furious protesters gathered outside the school after the attack, with calls to sack teachers for "not stepping in".

Following the incident, rapper Dave tweeted: "So this principal RICHARD BEESON in Ashford's Thomas Knyvett College is gonna stroll in and watch as that black child is ATTACKED by a mob and they think that can run? WE NEED HIM OUT OF THAT JOB ASAP."

He added: "Don't make this weird Thomas Knyvett 'cause we will wait outside of your college grounds till every member of staff in this video is sacked. DO THE RIGHT THING BEFORE WE FORCE YOU TO."

Angry protesters surrounded the school on Thursday, with one telling LBC: "We don’t want to make this a one-day thing.

"This happens all the time, they give us these one days, people protest and make noise and then they disappear. It’s shoved under the rug.

"We’re trying to keep as much attention on it like everything else."

He explained: "A lot of us are living in fear because we know the history. We know the history of the racism that’s been happening here on this island.

"There’s a lot of people living in fear - they don't want to come out or stand up to the situation and what’s happening."

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: 'We are aware that this incident will have caused concern among students, parents, and staff at Thomas Knyvett College, as well as the wider community.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: 'We are aware that this incident will have caused concern among students, parents, and staff at Thomas Knyvett College, as well as the wider community. Picture: Twitter

Adult voices could be heard throughout the altercation, which appeared to be encouraging the fight and instructing the teenagers on tactics.

Officers say a sixth attacker, a 16-year-old girl, continued to be sought over the incident and is aware of the police interest.

Throughout the prolonged, brutal assault, which lasted for two-minutes, screams could be heard, with five girls and an adult surrounding the victim.

Speaking about his initial reaction to the video, he told PA: "Straight away when I was watching it, I was extremely shocked to see the level of violence that was used and the number of offenders that also targeted this girl - really shocking to see.

"I've said that (I've had) 23 years in the police, and as a police officer to watch that is disturbing, not just as a father.

"So I can understand how shocked, how angry, not just the local community are but the wider community to see such a vicious attack."

The petition calls for Headmaster Richard Beeson to be held to account over a lack of intervention during the prolonged attack.
The petition calls for Headmaster Richard Beeson to be held to account over a lack of intervention during the prolonged attack. Picture: Change.org

A petition has been launched calling for the school's headmaster, Richard Beeson, to be brought to account following his lack of action over the incident.

Mr Beeson can be seen intervening at the end of the two-minute video, stepping in alongside another man in a bid to separate the group as braids lay strewn across the pavement.

The page, which has now garnered nearly 70,000 signatures, was set up by Magdalene Imonioro and features the slogan 'Enough is enough! Black Lives Matter!'

The description accompanying the petition reads: "A young black female student was viciously attacked by a white female student, her sisters and mother right outside her school - Thomas Knyvett college.

Members of public were joined by activists from the radical black rights movement Forever Family as they protested against an assault on a black girl
Members of public were joined by activists from the radical black rights movement Forever Family as they protested against an assault on a black girl. Picture: Getty

"No attempt was made by anyone to stop this vicious attack.

"The principal at this college casually strolls into the scene and does nothing to break up the fight. He allows the perpetrators of the crime to walk away after inflicting bodily harm on the young girl."

One signee wrote: "This is highly unacceptable & needs to be properly addressed. That adult incensing her kids to brutally attack one young black girl should be sentenced & declared unfit to be a mom. Social workers swing into action & take those rude kids into care!!!"

While another says: "Parents should be taken to court for edging the girls on and the Head Teacher sacked for allowing this to go on for so long - absolutely disgusting."

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