Teens attack tram passengers 'like pack of dogs' and walk free
A group of teenagers who cornered three Afghan passengers on a tram and attacked them 'like a pack of dogs' have walked free from court.
The six teenagers, whose shocking attack with poles, sticks and socks filled with ballast in New Addington, South London, was caught on CCTV.
Croydon Crown Court heard how the teenagers had carried out a mistaken revenge attack.
According to This is Croydon Today, they thought the men were responsible for attacking one of their friends at a fun fair because they were told the suspected attackers were Afghans.
The six attackers are Kieran Hawker, 18, Aaron Henery, 18, Robert Elsey, 19, Dean Riley, 19, and two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The Croydon Guardian reports that Anthony Patton, 27, was also part of the armed group who attacked the passengers on 1 October 2011 and has been jailed for 12 months.
The court heard how the 20-strong mob bombarded the tram over a 10-minute period.
Before the attack, they had chased a number of men into a petrol station and assaulted one before fleeing when police arrived.
The teens then followed the three victims to the tram and pulled the emergency door release so it could not leave.
A British Transport Police spokesman told the Daily Mail: "The group swarmed in and out of the tram, taking turns to attack the victims. One of the victims was kicked so hard against an internal, glass door that it smashed."
Detective Constable Ostin Elkins of British Transport Police said: "This was a callous, brutal and ultimately cowardly attack and we welcome the sentences handed down.
"The victims stood absolutely no chance of defending themselves against a pack of individuals who repeatedly took turns to attack, regain their energy and then attack again."
He added: "This was also terrifying for the numerous other passengers aboard the tram, who were present throughout the entire ordeal, while the tram itself sustained over £3,400 worth of damage and had to be taken out of service."
The group were arrested after CCTV footage of the attack was circulated on police systems.
Judge Shani Barnes said: "I am not exaggerating when I say that your behaviour on that night was like a pack of dogs."
The six men were handed suspended jail sentences for violent disorder.
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