Five people have appeared in court charged with violent disorder after a “brutal” attack on a teenage asylum seeker in south London.
Daryl Davis, 20, Danyelle Davis, 24, Barry Potts, 20, George Walder, 20, and Jack Walder, 24, spoke only to confirm their names and addresses during the hearing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon.
George Walder was also charged with racially aggravated grievous bodily harm.
Neighbours claimed up to 20 people watched while the 17-year-old was kicked and beaten on the ground during the attack on Friday.
All five defendants are from Croydon. Daryl and Danyelle Davis, who are siblings, and Potts, her partner, were released on bail. George Walder was remanded in custody while his brother, Jack Walder, was bailed. The defendants will appear at Croydon crown court on 1 May.
Police later confirmed Kyran Evans, 23, and a 17-year-old girl had also been charged over the attack.
The Kurdish-Iranian boy, named as Reker Ahmed, reportedly suffered a fractured skull and blood clot after the incident in Shrublands Avenue, Croydon. His condition was described as serious but stable, and was no longer believed to be life-threatening.
Two men and a 17-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder remain in custody. A man and woman arrested on Sunday have been released without charge.
Earlier, police released images of people they wanted to question.
It comes as more information about the alleged victim has been reported.
The Guardian reported that he had arrived in the UK in the past few months and was living with a legal guardian.
Meanwhile, the incident has drawn widespread condemnation, with Tory minister and local MP Gavin Barwell describing the attackers as “scum”.
The Daily Mail has likened the attack to the murder of college student Stephen Lawrence, who was just a year older when he was stabbed in nearby Eltham in 1993.
Scotland Yard said a 23-year-old man was arrested in Croydon on Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder, while a 26-year-old man and 17-year-old girl were detained on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder.
The alleged victim reportedly screamed “Help me, help me, help me,” during the sustained attack. He was eventually left unconscious on the floor before people came to his aid.
The teenager was waiting at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat pub in the Shrublands area when the group approached them.
After discovering he was an asylum seeker, they chased him and launched a vicious assault, repeatedly kicking him on the floor and aiming blows to his head.
The boy remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition, not believed to be life-threatening.
Police said around eight people were involved in the attack but residents said many more watched while the boy was beaten.
One resident of Shrublands Avenue told the Press Association: “There were more than eight people, there was a massive group coming up from The Goat pub.
“You couldn’t see who was hitting who.
“There was one person, the one who ended up in hospital, he was getting absolutely beaten up - kicked, mostly in the facial area. He was getting kicked and punched by everyone.
“There was a group of roughly 10 people that was kicking and punching him, and the rest, another 10 or 20, were all just around watching.
“Then when they heard sirens they started to go. People that were there, witnesses, because they couldn’t do anything against a group of 30 people, they had to wait until they moved off and that’s when they managed to help him.
“That’s eventually when the ambulance and police [arrived], and that was it.”
Detectives are investigating whether some of those involved had been drinking in The Goat.
“We pray for his speedy recovery”
Managers at the pub said they were “saddened” to hear of the incident, adding: “We do not in any way condone such action and we will do anything within our powers to help police to bring those that carried out this act to book. To the victim, we pray for his speedy recovery.”
Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe, Croydon’s borough commander, called it a “savage attack” and said it was only the intervention of passers-by and the arrival of police that stopped it being worse.
The “close-knit community” has been left shocked by the ferocity of the attack, he added, and extra officers have been out and about to reassure people.
He said: “This is not usual for the area, it is out of the norm. This is not Croydon, Croydon is a very diverse community - they celebrate their diversity.”
Boothe added: “Hate crime is something which we understand can be very, very divisive. Croydon is culturally diverse and we need to continue to celebrate that.”
Barwell, Croydon Central’s MP, said: “I think most people in Croydon will be as appalled as I am that what appears to have happened is a young man who came to this country seeking sanctuary has apparently been targeted because of his ethnic background.
“It’s an appalling crime and I hope the people responsible are caught quickly and receive the full force of British justice.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan also condemned the attack, saying hate crime “has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else”, while the Refugee Council said it was “disgusted” by the assault.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also denounced it, saying: “Absolutely shocked at attack on young Kurdish asylum seeker, who came here searching for safety. I fervently hope he makes a full recovery.”
Anyone with information about the attack should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.