Six teens charged with race attacks at Sandwell mosque

Six teenagers as young as 14 have been charged after mosque worshippers including pensioners and a schoolboy were slapped and kicked. Members of the Cradley Heath Mosque & Islamic Centre were targeted, sparking an investigation from officers.

Today, West Midlands Police revealed a sales assistant aged 17 had been charged with three counts of racially-aggravated assault. He is accused of punching and kicking men aged 68 and 70 in attacks on October 16 and 17, and slapping an eight-year-old boy outside the mosque on October 24. Two 16-year-olds, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, all boys from Cradley Heath, have also been charged with racially-aggravated harassment and criminal damage to a motor vehicle.

The six, who cannot be named, have been bailed to appear at Sandwell Youth Court on Monday.

Sgt Mandy Morgan said: “We pride ourselves on the close working relationship we have with our local community and will always to seek prosecute people suspected of committing crimes of this nature. It is totally unacceptable. Officers have been working closely with the local Mosque and continue to offer reassurance to local residents.”

All but the youngest suspect have also been charged with criminal damage when it is alleged they surrounded and kicked a 58-year-old man’s car in Reddal Hill Road on the evening of October 20, writing it off.

Express & Star, 28 January 2014