Singapore

Teen charged over racially aggravated assault on Singaporean in London

This article is more than 12 months old

A 15-year-old boy has been charged by the London Metropolitan Police for his alleged involvement in a racially aggravated assault on Singaporean student Jonathan Mok in London in March.

A police spokesman said the teen was charged with wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

He will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on August 10.

The police added that a 16-year-old boy who was arrested on March 4 in connection with the case has been released with no further action taken against him.

On March 3, Mr Mok, 23, opened up on Facebook about the attack, which took place in Oxford Street near the London Underground's Tottenham Court Road train station.

The University College London law student said he heard a group of young people say "coronavirus" as he walked past them at about 9.15pm.

When he turned to face the group, he was punched in the face, with one of the suspects saying "I don't want your coronavirus in my country" before the group fled.

The incident resulted in Mr Mok having to go for facial surgery, reported Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.

On March 4, the Singapore High Commission in London said on Facebook it was "deeply disturbed" by the attack and recognised its "broader implications" given the large Singaporean community in Britain.

It also promised to ensure that the London Metropolitan Police "follow through with their investigation with the utmost priority".

"(We) do not believe that the assault reflects the majority view of the British people, in particular towards Singapore, given the close and special relationship between the UK and Singapore," the High Commission added.

British High Commissioner in Singapore Kara Owen said in a tweet on March 3 that she was "shocked and saddened by the attack" and wished Mr Mok a speedy recovery. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME