Police investigate alleged race hate crime in Rochdale

White victims claim they were set upon by Asian men in second alleged hate crime under investigation in Greater Manchester

Police in Greater Manchester say they are investigating a second suspected hate crime in which white victims claim they were set upon and assaulted by a group of young Asian men.

The police said a 21-year-old man was chased and hit with a bottle in Rochdale before being repeatedly kicked and punched in the head and body as he lay on the ground. His 16-year-old friend was also punched in the face during the unprovoked attack on a canal towpath.

It follows reports of an unconnected incident in Hyde, Greater Manchester, in which the trainee chef Dan Stringer-Prince was repeatedly kicked and punched by a mob of up to eight people after he was chased down a street.

Stringer-Prince, 17, has undergone surgery following the attack on Saturday in which his skull, eye sockets and cheekbone were fractured. His vision may be impaired as a result of nerve damage. His 17-year-old friend, Kevan Brown, was also injured.

A 21-year-old man, Ali Haydor, from Hyde, has been charged with assault in connection with the incident and will appear before Tameside magistrates on Thursday. A 17-year-old boy who was also arrested on suspicion of Section 18 assault has been bailed, pending further inquiries, until 23 April.

The assault in Rochdale happened at about 8.15pm on Saturday 28 January, police said.

Police said both victims, who have not been identified, were walking with friends towards a canal towpath off Sandbrook retail park when they were approached from behind by three men.

The trio ran at them, causing a number of their friends to run off, while the two victims continued to walk along the towpath.

Their attackers are reported to have run off towards Deeplish. One man is described as being Asian, in his mid-20s, around 5ft 10in, with black hair. He wore a long white coat with two pockets over the knees.

The second man is described as being Asian and of stocky build. He wore a black jacket with bright orange stitching on the shoulders and arms. A third alleged attacker is described as being Asian but no further information is known about him.

Police are investigating both incidents as hate crimes, as perceived by the victims, though no racist or other comments were directed at either victim.

Detective Constable Ben Harris from Rochdale CID said: "This was a completely unprovoked and relentless attack that has left both victims shocked by their ordeal. The 21-year-old man needed hospital treatment for his injuries and the 16-year-old boy was left with visible facial injuries.

"I can understand why this has caused concern within the community. However, we cannot speculate why they were attacked and I do not want anyone to presume this has happened for a specific reason.

"I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time of the attack or may have seen the offenders running in the direction of Deeplish, near to the towpath, to contact police."


Helen Carter

The GuardianTramp

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