News Walthamstow

Teen refugee denies ‘forcefully kissing’ child at Walthamstow hotel

After initial uncertainty around his age, a judge ruled yesterday he should be tried in the youth court
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

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

A teenager has denied sexually assaulting a child at a Walthamstow hotel housing hundreds of asylum seekers.

The teenager, who cannot be named due to his age, is accused of forcefully kissing a young boy in the hotel, not named to protect its inhabitants, on 9th September.

The teenager appeared at Stratford Magistrates’ Court yesterday and entered a not guilty plea. He now faces a trial at the same court on 30th January next year.

The accused first appeared in court in early September but his case was adjourned due to uncertainty over his age and whether he should be tried as an adult.

After hearing evidence from two independent social workers who had assessed his age, District Judge Susan Holdham ruled he should be tried as “a minimum of 17 years old”.

The teenager denied one count of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and was bailed to the care of Waltham Forest Council.

On 5th October, a different teenage boy was reportedly raped at the same hotel by a man in his 30s.