News Walthamstow

Young man accused of sexually assaulting child at refugee hotel appears in court

The accused’s exact age is still currently unknown
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

Stock image (credit: Pixabay)
Stock image (credit: Pixabay)

A young man accused of sexually assaulting a child in a Walthamstow hotel housing refugees appeared in court today.

The accused, whose exact age is currently unknown, is charged with sexually assaulting a boy under 13 years old on 9th September.

The attack was reported at a hotel housing hundreds of refugees and, only a month later, a teenage boy was allegedly raped at the same hotel.

The man in court today, who cannot currently be named in the press, has yet to enter a plea and no details of the allegation were revealed.

Instead, District Judge Ross Johnson adjourned the case until 23rd November to allow for an age assessment carried out by Waltham Forest Council to be submitted as evidence. 

The accused is being held in the custody of Waltham Forest Council on the condition that he does not return to the hotel or contact the alleged victim.

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The teenage boy being housed at the same hotel was reportedly raped on 5th October by a man in his 30s, who is due to appear in court early next year.

Following the revelation of both reported attacks, council leader Grace Williams wrote to the Home Office expressing concerns about a “lack of safeguarding”.

She wrote: “These hotels are not safe places for young people. These are vulnerable children, often moved thousands of miles and placed in cramped hotels for months on end without adequate support in place.”

In response, a Home Office spokesperson told the BBC: “It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation.

“We work around the clock with the police and local authorities to ensure the children in our care are safe.”

In August, the council leader criticised the Home Office for placing 400 refugees, including 150 children, in a local hotel “without prior notice” to the council and with “inadequate food”.

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