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Teen who punched man and said 'I don't want your corona virus in my country' pleads guilty

|News, Hate crime

A teenager has admitted punching a man and saying ‘I don’t want your corona virus in my country’.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched the unprovoked attack on the victim who was walking alongside a friend towards Tottenham Court Road tube station on Oxford Street on Monday, 24 February.

Today (Monday, 10 August 2020) during his first appearance, the teenager admitted wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court. He will be sentenced at the same court on 7 September.

The victim, a Singaporean student in his 20s studying law in the UK, was left with a bloodied nose and swelling and bruising to his face including his eye. The victim has since been referred to a specialist and undergone surgery.

Daniel Kavanagh, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “This was a vicious and completely unprovoked attack on a young man who was simply making his way home with a friend after dinner in central London.

“He was clearly targeted in this hate crime because of his ethnic appearance.

“Hate crime has a corrosive effect on our society and nobody should be subjected to such vile behaviour.

“The prosecution case included CCTV footage of the incident, leaving the defendant little choice but to plead guilty and own up to his actions.

“I hope this conviction provides the victim with some comfort and shows that the CPS will take action to prosecute those who commit hate crimes.”

Crimes that are motivated wholly or partly by hostility or demonstrate hostility towards the victim of the offence based on that person's presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability are eligible for an increased sentence. The CPS will be applying for a hate crime sentence uplift in this case at the next hearing.

Notes to editors

  • The 15-year-old defendant is from the London borough of Camden.

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