Teenager spared jail for public order offence before student was attacked

A teenager has been sentenced for her part in a cowardly, violent and unprovoked attack which left a Kurdish-Iranian student with life-changing injuries.

Reker Ahmed, 17, who had been out with two friends, suffered a fractured spine, a bleed on the brain and facial fractures following the incident in Croydon, south London, shortly after midnight on March 31.

Mr Ahmed was subjected to two beatings over the course of 16 minutes, when he and his friends got caught up in the fight on the Shrublands Estate.

Millie Walder, 18, of Myrtle Road, Croydon, had pleaded guilty to a public order offence in using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear. She was given a 12-month community order and 20 hours at an attendance centre.

Sentencing at Croydon Crown Court, Judge Adam Hiddleston, told Walder, who was 17 at the time of the attack: "Your involvement in what turned out to be the disgraceful events at The Goat pub last year was limited to the very start of this event."

He said it "is right that at that time" that the serious "scale of the events could not be known by you".

The judge said she kicked out at one of the men.

Teenage asylum seeker attack
The Shrublands estate in Croydon (Steve Parsons/PA.

She was later seen to be upset by what happened.

The judge said Walder, who has three previous counts of battery, now seems to be turning around her life.

The court was told that Walder, who used to play for Crystal Palace youth team, now does volunteering work.

Prosecutor Ben Holt told the court: "This was a cowardly and unprovoked attack by a group of friends on three people who were not known to them.

"The precise motive of the attack remains unclear but there was a racist insult by one defendant at the outset of the attack."

Mr Ahmed, told the court in his victim statement, that he has since tried to take his own life, that he has nightmares and flashbacks and does not sleep properly.

He said: "Since I was attacked I feel extremely distressed and anxious. I cannot understand why anyone would want to hurt me like this for no reason."

He says he is "scared" when he leaves the house, feels "ugly" and that people are looking at him because of his injuries and that he cannot remember things before the attack.

Other members of the gang of who are all from Croydon, south London, are to be sentenced at the same court on March 12.

They are George Jeffrey, 21, of Uvedale Close, Ben Harman, 21, of Akabusi Close, Kurt Killick, now 18, of Erica Gardens, Lliam Neylon, 20, of Ferris Avenue, and George Walder, 21, of Myrtle Road.

They were each found guilty by a jury of two counts of violent disorder.

James Neves, 23, of no fixed address, who pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder is also to be sentenced.

During the trial, the jury heard that one of the attackers yelled "You are asylum seekers, you are refugees, you have to go back to your country" at Mr Ahmed and his friend when they told him they were from Iraq and Iran.

The subsequent fight was so violent that a female passer-by pleaded: "Stop. You're killing him."

Mr Ahmed was allegedly stamped on during the second assault in what was described by the prosecution as a "disgraceful episode of violence and thuggery".

Jurors heard that at one point during the incident it was as many as eight people against one when Mr Ahmed became separated from his two friends, according to witnesses.

The victim was not called to give evidence, because when he awoke in hospital he remembered nothing of what had happened.

He and his friends Hamo Mustafa and Dilshad Mohammed had been chatting to people in The Goat pub on Broom Road before the incident.

Mr Mustafa said they had been speaking to a group of five people near the pub when they were asked by one of the men where they were from.

The defendants were all identified via CCTV footage running after Mr Ahmed towards Shrublands Avenue.

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