Schoolgirl attacked and physically abused on the Bus for being Muslim
The client, Hajra* is a 14-year-old girl who wears the headscarf. At around 16:30, Hajra, her friend Fatima*, and sister Khadijah*, were on a bus on their way back from school. Due to it being peak time, the bus was extremely busy and there were no seats available. At one stop, the suspect and their dog entered the bus, and the dog pounced onto Hajra causing her to scream. The suspect then told her to “shut up you f***ing fat n****!”, dragged her off the bus, and punched her several times in the chest. Fatima intervened but was thrown to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness. Khadijah also tried to stop the suspect attacking Fatima, but was thrown onto a busy road with moving cars, sustaining severe bruising to her body.
Prior to the hearing, the IRU briefed the client and provided her with information regarding the court process and how cases are determined. In addition, a volunteer from MEND also attended the hearing with her, offering moral and emotional support. The suspect was charged with three offences in total of racially aggravated harassment and assault, and received a sentence totalling six months imprisonment.
* Names changed for the purpose of this article