Woman beaten with belt by gang of men after getting bus from Romford

Luke Back was left brain-damaged by the hammer attack

Luke Back was left brain-damaged by the hammer attack - Credit: Archant

A woman was beaten with a belt, punched and mugged by a gang, after being followed off a bus from Romford.

The 21-year-old and three female friends had been travelling on the number 5 bus from Romford to Wood Lane, Dagenham.

The attack happened shortly after the women got off the bus at around 3.15am on Wednesday.

Six young men, who had been on the same bus, followed them a short distance before one began hitting the victim with a belt.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous and who is now afraid to leave her house, said: “We had all got on at Romford and one of them said something really rude to me, so I swore at him.

“We got off near Five Elms School and not long after this guy starts whacking me with his belt which had a metal buckle

“It hit me on my back and the back of my head. Then this other guy began punching me - and hit me in the jaw. I remember hearing the others say: ‘Come on hit her!’

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“At one point another one of them slapped my friend in the face.”

The woman, who suffered cuts and bruises, says she put her bag and her coat on the ground to cover her face with her hands, when the youth with the belt grabbed the items.

The gang then ran off in the direction of Valence Park.

The victim said: “At the time I was full of adrenaline and I actually ran after them, but lost them.”

One of her friends called police, who collected the women and took them home.

She said: “When I arrived home, it hit me what happened, plus the pain of the injuries kicked in - that’s when I became hysterical.

“Since then I’ve been afraid to leave my home - it’s left me terrified.”

The victim described the men as aged between about 17 and 20 and said four were black, one Asian and one white.

She said: “The one with the belt was black, about six foot and athletic.”

Officers from Barking and Dagenham’s Robbery Squad are investigating.

Anyone with information call 101.