A series of savage attacks on a teenage girl in Derry’s Waterside videoed and then privately shared on social media by spectators to the incident have been called “utterly disgusting” by a political representative on Derry City and Strabane District Council.
DUP Councillor Graham Warke said the incidents which took place in Newbuildings are part of a wider series of organised brawls between teens in the district and has called on the parents of those involved to take action before one of the youngsters is seriously injured.
In order to protect the identity of the victim the video’s will not be republished here, but in one of the video’s, a large gang of teenagers surround the female victim who is dragged around by the hair and then pursued as she tries to escape, pummelled to the ground before being thrown head first into a fence before her assailants again repeatedly punch her in the face and head.
Those looking on at the attack are clearly heard shouting insults at the victim and as the assault escalates urge the attackers to concentrate causing damage to the victims head whilst they continue to film the incident on their mobile phones.
The mother of the victim, who did not wish to be identified said her daughter has been “traumatised by life” by the attack.
Councillor Warke said: “As a parent, I am totally angry and disgusted to see this and to think that it is happening on our own doorstep. I would appeal to young people instead of pulling out your phones to video these attacks to stop the fight instead, or get a responsible adult to intervene. My biggest fear is that someone is going to get seriously injured. This type of arranged attack and bullying needs to stop. parents and schools need to speak to the young people as a matter of urgency.”
The attack took place two weeks ago in a residential area of Newbuildings. The mother of the 14-year-old victim said her daughter was lured out of her home by someone she believed was a friend and taken to a quiet area of the estate where the attack commenced.
“This has really affected her confidence. It has left her scared to go out of the house and left her questioning people she thought were her friends because her trust has been betrayed. We have notified her school about it, but our daughter has gone very quiet.
“She has told us she is ashamed to go out of the house. After the incident she went very quiet and did not speak. We tried to get her to talk about it. She says she is ashamed of what happened and thought that if she did go out of the house everyone would be talking about her. It is the people who did this that should be ashamed of themselves. Our daughter has done nothing wrong and has nothing to be ashamed of,” the victims mother said.
“What gets to me is not one of those young people watching went and got an adult. There were 20 to 30 out there videoing and watching what happened and then shared it on Facebook Messenger. It has had an horrendous affect on my daughter and it something she will never forget,” the mother continued.
Police in Derry have said any incidents of this type reported to them will be thoroughly investigated.
A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “We would ask anyone affected by this type of behaviour to give as much information as they can, as quickly as they can. Information can be given on the police non-emergency number, 101, or by calling the Crimestoppers Charity anonymously on 0800555111.”