The young victim who asked not to be named told the Jewish News yesterday how the incident last month had shattered her confidence and left her suffering from terrifying nightmares.
The police said that four 14-year-old girls, a 10-year-old girl and a boy aged 10, had been arrested and released on bail in connection with the attack, which shocked London’s Jewish community.
The victim, who still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, said: “I am relieved that something has been done. I feel more safe now and not as worried about my friends.”
The girl was allegedly traveling with a friend on a number 303 bus between Colindale and Edgware when the pair were approached at Mill Hill Broadway by a group of girls and a boy.
The group allegedly sat close to the girls and began quizzing them about their clothing before asking if they were Jewish.
One of the assailants allegedly told them to stand up and frisked them for their belongings before snatching a bracelet from the victim.
As the girls tried to leave the bus at Mill Hill Broadway station their way was allegedly blocked.
'On the floor screaming'
The 12-year-old said: “She started hitting me with a phone on my cheekbones to wind me up and she slapped me three times really hard.
“I don’t remember what happened until I was on the floor screaming. My friend was in the corner screaming for help. I woke up with someone stamping on my face.
“She got off me. Then she pulled my hair and screamed, ‘Get her phone, get her phone’. I think I slapped her and my friend pulled me down the steps to get to the door.
“Everyone on the bus looked at us like we were mad. We were screaming for him to open the door.”
Despite her screams of terror, fellow passengers looked on and said nothing until eventually a boy forced the door open so they could make their escape.
A passing motorist stopped to help and the girl was taken to Barnet hospital where she was treated for a fractured eye socket and bruising to her face and chest.
Injuries healed, mind still traumatized
Her injuries were so severe that her 42-year-old father decided it was better for her mother not to visit the hospital.
He said: “I’ve seen bruised faces at amateur boxing matches but never anything like that.”
His daughter, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah next month, remains traumatized that her plight was ignored by bystanders. She said: “Everything has healed on my face but still in my mind I’m scared and get frightened more easily.”
Constant nightmares mean she is unable to get a full night’s sleep which, in turn, has affected her school work. She said: “I wake up screaming and my mum has to comfort me.”
She added: “It is just not human not to help someone who is being attacked. I understand if people were scared but at least they could tell the driver to call the police. As soon as we got off the bus, the driver closed the doors and went off like nothing happened.”
Her father too is finding it hard to accept that nobody on the bus tried to intervene. He said: “I’ve never been put in that position but I’m sure I would have taken action. I don’t know anyone who would stand by.”
But he expressed gratitude to the police, who he said had been “very supportive and have taken this very seriously. They were willing to investigate every avenue to find them”.
Mark Gardner, of the CST, said: “This was one of the most shocking anti-Semitic attacks in Britain in recent years. It was extremely important that the police investigated it fully, for the sake of the victim, her family, and the community as a whole. We welcome the arrests and hope that prosecutions will follow.”
Reprinted with permission of Totally Jewish