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Teenager charged over Singaporean student attack in London sparked by COVID-19 comments

Teenager charged over Singaporean student attack in London sparked by COVID-19 comments

Mr Jonathan Mok uploaded photos of his bruised face on Facebook. (Photo: Jonathan Mok)

LONDON: A 15-year-old boy has been charged by the London Metropolitan Police over the alleged attack of Singaporean student Jonathan Mok in London, after comments were made about COVID-19 and Mr Mok's race.

Responding to CNA's query, the Metropolitan Police said on Saturday (Jul 18) that the teenager was charged with "wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent" in connection with the "racially aggravated assault" that happened on Oxford Street.

The 15-year-old, who is not named as he is a juvenile, will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Aug 10.

The police added that a 16-year-old boy, who was arrested on Mar 4, has been released with no further action.

In March, the police said that they arrested two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, in relation to the case. They added that they were still looking to identify two others.

The incident happened on the evening of Feb 24 near Tottenham Court Road station.

Mr Mok, a 23-year-old student at University College London, told CNA that he was attacked after he reacted to a group's comments about his race and COVID-19.

"I felt really angry ... It is ridiculous people are being targeted for being Asian," he said.

READ: Singaporean student in London says he was assaulted after reacting to COVID-19 comments

The group left the scene before the police arrived.

Police said officers were called at around 9.15pm to reports of a man being assaulted and found Mr Mok injured at the scene.

The Metropolitan Police in a March press release said the victim was punched and kicked, and sustained facial injuries.

Detective Sergeant Emma Kirby, who was the officer in charge of the case, said the attack left the victim "shaken and hurt".

The Singapore High Commission had said it was in contact with London police "at the highest level" to ensure that investigations into the incident are followed through.

It was also in touch with the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as the Home Office "given the broader implications with our large student and Singaporean community" in the country, the high commission said in a Facebook post.

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Source: CNA/jt(ta)


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