Somali girls who attacked a woman Rhea Page, and repeatedly kicked her in the head were handed a suspended six month sentence after the court was told that the girls, who had been drunk, misbehaved because being Muslims they were not used to alcohol.
The Somali Muslim girls, Ambaro and Hibo Maxamed, 24, their sister Ayan, 28, and cousin Ifra Nur, 28, attacked Rhea Page, a support worker, as she walked down a street to get a taxi with her boyfriend after a night out.
Daily Mail reports 24 year old Ambaro, who started the violence, called Miss Page "white bitch," and the girls called her "white slag" while they attacked her.
According to Page, who works with people with autism and other learning difficulties, she had gone for a drink after work with her boyfriend, and the two were walking to take a taxi when they were accosted by the Somali sisters. Page said:
"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."
The police rescued Page from her attackers. Page, according to Daily Mail, suffered bruises and grazes to her head, back, legs and arms, and she had a bald patch on her head where the hair had been ripped off in the assault.
The lawyer defending the Somali girls, Gary Short, said the Somali girls' behavior was due to the effect of alcohol. The lawyer said the girls were not used to taking alcohol because their religion prohibited them. The lawyer said: "Although Miss Page's partner used violence, it doesn't justify their behavior. They're Somalian Muslims and alcohol or drugs isn't something they're used to."
The Judge Robert Brown, told the Somali girls: "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."
The lawyer defending the Somali girls suggested their behavior was also due to the reaction of Page's boyfriend Lewis Moore, 23, who tried to defend his partner from the attack. The judge indicated he accepted that Moore might have used unreasonable force while trying to protect Page from attack.
One of the Somali girls Hibo Maxamad, was reported to have a kidney condition which requires that she receive a dialysis three times a week. Daily Mail reports she received a four-month curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The other girls were sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work.
Page who said, after the hearing, that she felt the sentence was "disgusting," expressed her feelings: "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. It's no punishment at all and sends out a message that it's okay to do that to someone. 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."
The United Kingdom is claimed to have the largest Somali community in Europe, with about 43,532 Somali-born residents recorded in the 2001 Census. It is estimated that 108,000 Somali-born immigrants were living in the U.K. by March 2010.