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Northumbria Police defend decision not to publicise alleged sexual assault on teens by Syrian men

Northumbria Police has explained its decision not to publicise allegations that two teenage girls were sexually assaulted by Syrians in a park, saying such a move could have frustrated the inquiry.

Three young men and a teenager have appeared in court charged with the offences said to have happened last month in Leazes Park, Newcastle.

Generic shot of police tape Credit: PA

At least one of them was a refugee allowed into the country in the Government's resettlement programme.

Northumbria Police did not publicise the alleged attacks or release details about the charges to the media.

But following questions why the force chose to "keep quiet" concerning the alleged attacks, the force has responded saying it did not release details of every incident it investigates.

In relation to this incident, the arrests were made within 48 hours of the report and we had an idea from the beginning of the investigation who these men were and how we could locate and arrest them. We needed to carry out enquiries and there was no need for a public witness appeal and there was no danger to the wider public. Had we proactively released details of the incident then it could have frustrated our investigation."

– Northumbria Police spokesman

Police said they received a report on Tuesday May 10 that two

teenage girls had been sexually assaulted in Leazes Park in Newcastle.

Four males were were charged with sexual assault. Three of the men, aged 18,18 and 20, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday June 10, and were bailed to appear at a later date.

A 17-year-old male will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on September 29.

General shot of Newcastle Crown Court Credit: Hugh Macknight/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The spokesman said the men who appeared before Newcastle Crown Court were:

  • Omar Marwan Badreddin, 18 and from Newcastle, charged with sexual assault.
  • Mohammed Hamdan Alfrouh, 20 and from Newcastle, charged with two counts of sexual assault.
  • Mohammad Allakkoud, 18 and from Newcastle, charged with one count of sexual assault.
  • A 17-year-old boy, charged with one count of sexual assault, will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court in September.