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Alleged attacker of Syrian schoolboy 'scared for his life'

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 6/12/2018 Telegraph Reporters
Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield where a 16-year-old boy is to be charged with assault over an attack on a 15-year-old Syrian refugee after a violent video was widely shared on social media. © PA Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield where a 16-year-old boy is to be charged with assault over an attack on a 15-year-old Syrian refugee after a violent video was widely shared on social media.

A schoolboy alleged to be responsible for an attack on a young Syrian refugee has said he is scared for his life after receiving violent threats.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he and his family had gone into hiding after a video of the incident was widely shared online.

In an interview with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, a convicted fraudster whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the 16-year-old said he was "scared for my life, scared for my family's life".

He said: "My address got put out and there were people turning up at my house in cars, all this type of stuff."

Police outside Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield © PA Police outside Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield

"We went into hiding because we've had all these threats, rape threats, death threats," he added.

In the footage, the 15-year-old victim is thrown to the ground and threatened with drowning at a school in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The alleged perpetrator previously gave The Sun Online a handwritten statement in which he accepted responsibility for his actions, but denied bullying the younger boy.

"The incident was isolated and came about from an altercation between us earlier that day.

"The incident was not racial as up to that time we had been on good terms," he said.

Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor speaking to the media at a peaceful protest outside Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield © PA Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor speaking to the media at a peaceful protest outside Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield The footage of the incident at Almondbury Community School provoked outrage and prompted well-wishers to set up an online crowdfunding page for the victim which received £50,000 in donations in the space of a day.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the generous public response showed the "true spirit of Britain".

Shortly after the footage emerged, the victim said he no longer felt safe at school.

He told ITV News: "I woke up at night and just started crying about this problem. They think I'm different - different from them.

"I don't feel safe at school. Sometimes I say to my dad, 'I don't want to go to school anymore'. I was just crying and I didn't do nothing because I respect the school rules."

West Yorkshire Police previously said a 16-year-old boy had been interviewed over the attack and reported for summons for an offence of assault ahead of a youth court appearance.

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