A gang of Muslim girls who repeatedly kicked a young woman in the head walked free from court after a judge heard they were ‘not used to being drunk’ because of their religion.
The group screamed ‘kill the white slag’ while kicks raining in on 22-year-old Rhea Page as she lay motionless on the ground, the court heard.
The attackers – three sisters and their cousin – were told by a judge that normally they would have been sent to jail.
However, he handed the girls – all Somalis – suspended sentences after hearing that they were not used to alcohol because their religion does not allow it.
Their victim was left with a bald patch after they pulled a chunk out of her hair during the attack on the High Street, Leicester.
Ambaro and Hibo Maxamed, both 24, their sister Ayan, 28, and cousin Ifrah Nur, 28, attacked Rhea, a care worker, as she walked to a taxi rank with her boyfriend after a night out.
The victim, a support worker, was left so traumatised that she lost her job following repeated absences with stress and flashbacks, Leciester Crown Court was told.
The charge – assault occasioning actual bodily harm – carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said Ambaro Maxamed, who started the violence, had called Miss Page a ‘white bitch’ during the incident.
The women, who are all Somalian Muslims, were not charged with racial aggravation.
Victim Miss Page said: ‘I had gone for a drink after work and then I met my boyfriend for a couple more before heading home.
‘We didn’t want to stay out too late so we went to get a taxi and all of a sudden I heard these women shouting abuse at me.
‘We were just minding our own business but they kept shouting “white bitch” and “white slag” at me.
‘When I turned around one of them grabbed my hair – she literally wrapped her fingers in my hair – then threw me on the ground. That’s when they started kicking me.
‘They were taking turns to kick me in the head and back over and over. I was lying on the ground the whole time, crying and screaming. It was terrifying. I thought they were going to kill me.
‘Eventually the police came but it felt like ages. Afterwards I was covered in blood and hair.
‘I had a bald patch on my head where they had yanked my hair out and I was black and blue all over.
‘I honestly think they attacked me just because I was white. I can’t think of any other reason.’
She suffered bruises and grazes to her head, back, legs and arms, and had clumps of hair pulled out.
Gary Short, mitigating for Ambaro Maxamed, said the attack was down to alcohol.
He said: ‘Although Miss Page’s partner used violence, it doesn’t justify their behaviour. They’re Somalian Muslims and alcohol or drugs isn’t something they’re used to.’
Seventeen months on from the attack, she is still undergoing counselling and suffers from panic attacks and flashbacks.
The group all admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and received six month suspended sentences.
Judge Robert Brown told them: ‘This was ugly and reflects very badly on all four of you.
‘Those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside, but I’m going to suspend the sentence.’
He said he accepted the women may have felt they were the victims of unreasonable force from Rhea’s partner Lewis Moore, 23, who tried to defend her from the attack.
As well as the suspended sentence, Hibo Maxamed, who needs dialysis three times a week for a kidney complaint, received a four-month curfew between 9pm and 6am.
The others were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Rhea said after the hearing: ‘It should have been immediate custody after what happened. It’s not sending out the right message about street violence.
‘They were kicking me in the head right up to the minute the police arrived.
‘Even after the police came and they all ran away, one of them came running back to kick me in the head one last time while I was lying unconscious on the ground.’
Rhea, a support worker who helps care for people with autism and learning difficulties, said the sentence was ‘disgusting’.
‘It’s no punishment at all and sends out a message that it’s okay to do that to someone,’ she said.
‘And for them to say they did it because they were not used to alcohol is not an excuse. If they were not supposed to be drinking then they shouldn’t have been out in bars at that time of night.
‘The attack has had a devastating affect on my life and they have just been allowed to get away with it.’