Sex Attack On Asylum Seeker And Baby Son

An Algerian asylum seeker and her one-year-old son were sexually assaulted in a racially motivated daylight attack. The victim was left “completely traumatised” after also being verbally abused, pelted with stones and repeatedly kicked as she walked with the child in his pram.

The 33-year-old woman was targeted by at least four young men on a popular cycle path in the west of Glasgow.

One member of the group then exposed himself to the mother before indecently assaulting the woman and her son.

The attack ended only when the woman managed to run away while clutching her child.

Detective Inspector Andy McWilliam, who is leading the Strathclyde Police investigation, last night said: “This was a particularly harrowing ordeal for the woman and her son.

“It may be that the other members of the group are as disgusted with the sexual element of this attack on a defenceless woman and her one-year-old baby.

“They may have not entered into this incident expecting there to be a sexual assault on the woman and child, and so may be in a position to assist the police in identifying the individual responsible.”

The woman was forced to abandon her pram, headscarf and a baby’s bottle on the cycle path in the Yoker area of the city. None of the items left behind were recovered, but detectives are keen to trace them.

The incident happened at about 4.30pm on 3 April. Mr McWilliam added: “There was definitely a racial element involved in this attack, given that it began with racial abuse being shouted at the woman.”

He said that the cycle path was well-used, but some areas were isolated.

One local mother, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s absolutely disgusting and it makes you scared to take your kids out. These guys should just be taken off the streets.

She must have been absolutely terrified for her baby.”

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, a charity set up to fight racism and discrimination and to support asylum seekers and refugees, added: “We’re glad to see that the police are acknowledging and taking seriously the racial element in this attack.

“Quite often, we have to try to pressure the police on a day-to-day basis to take seriously claims by people that attacks on them had a racial edge.”

But Ms Qureshi said that while Yoker has a large asylum-seeker population, many local residents had made efforts to help them integrate.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Refugee Council appealed for public help to find the culprits.

Police described the suspect who assaulted the mother and child as a tall, thin, white male, aged 20 to 25, with very short hair. He was wearing white and blue tracksuit trousers.