Thug demands ‘what’s your religion’ before launching racist attack

A man has told of a “horrifying” attack during which a group of friends were racially abused by a gang wielding baseball bats and golf clubs. One man was physically attacked by the group, leaving him with back injuries.

One of his friends told BBC Scotland that they had been approached by a man while they were in an Edinburgh garden. The man made racially abusive comments towards the four men, who were of Asian origin, before returning with a group of friends to carry out the attack.

The 21-year-old man who was injured in the attack Monday night was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment and released the following day.

One of the Asian men, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, told BBC Scotland about the incident. He said the group of friends had been in the garden in East Pilton Farm Avenue when a man passed and asked them their religion.

“One of my friends said we were Pakistanis and he suddenly started being abusive about Pakistanis and Asians,” he said. “My friend said: ‘Please leave this place, we are having a good time, I want you to have a good time, take care of yourself’, but he couldn’t stop. He went away for about 15 minutes and came back with four of his friends and they were shouting leave our country, which is quite horrifying.”

He said the men then started hitting his friend with a golf club and baseball bats. The man said he was able to pull his friend into his flat. The gang smashed a glass door, but fled when police were called. The man said his 21-year-old friend was still in “a lot of pain”.

BBC News, 3 June 2009