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Teenager attacked with bottle in racially aggravated assault

News   •   Aug 20, 2015 06:00 BST

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information after a teenager was smashed in the face with a bottle in an unprovoked racist attack.

The 18-year-old needed surgery and has suffered permanent nerve damage after the incident on the Isle of Dogs on Saturday, 8 August.

The victim had been out with a group of friends, all of whom are black, on hire bikes and around 20:45hrs they rode across to the Isle of Dogs, passing through the Greenwich foot tunnel.

Some of them, including the victim, had cycled ahead and they stopped near the junction with Mast House Terrace in Westferry Road to wait for the rest of their friends to catch up.

A group of about five men and two women, all described as white and aged 18-20, were standing across the road and started shouting abuse, including racist comments. One had a knife and one a whisky bottle.

They approached the friends and tried to pull one man off his bike.

The friends made off, running into Spindrift Avenue to get away.

The suspects chased after them and the man armed with the bottle caught up with the victim between the junctions of Telegraph Place and Barnsdale Avenue. He then smashed him in the face with it.

The victim fell backwards and a second man kicked him while he lay on the ground.

Three hatchback cars - one black, one green, one silver - then pulled up. Suspects 1 and 2 got inside and made off.

Police officers en route to the incident were flagged down by the victim and one of his friends as they staggered back to Westferry Road.

The victim's top was drenched in blood from a deep slash to his left cheek and he was taken by the London Ambulance Service to the Royal London Hospital. He underwent surgery and spent three days in hospital.

Officers searched the area but the suspects had disappeared.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Alan Henderson, from Limehouse CID, said: "This was an entirely unprovoked attack on the victim who was simply enjoying an evening out with friends.

"It is believed the suspects had been drinking and took the opportunity to not only hurl racist abuse but then attack the victim. He suffered a significant facial injury and has been left with permanent nerve damage.

"We would ask any witnesses or anyone with information to please come forward."

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Limehouse CID on 101 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.