Why police didn't reveal details of teens' alleged park sex attack ordeal

Northumbria Police has explained its decision not to publicise allegations that two teenage girls were sexually assaulted by Syrians in a park.

Sunday, 12th June 2016, 12:17 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 11:18 am
Northumbria Police have defended their decision not to reveal details of the alleged sex attacks.

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

At least one of them was a refugee allowed into the country in the Government's resettlement programme, according to the BBC's Newsnight programme.

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

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Since Newsnight aired on Friday, and following an article in the Mail On Sunday which questioned why the force chose to "keep quiet" concerning the alleged attacks, the force has responded.

A spokesman said: "On Tuesday, May 10, police received a report that two teenage girls had been sexually assaulted in Leazes Park in Newcastle.

"An investigation was carried out. Four males 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."

The spokesman said the force 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," he added.

"We needed to carry out inquiries, 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."

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

* Omar Marwan Badreddin, 18, from Newcastle, charged with sexual assault.

* Mohammed Hamdan Alfrouh, 20, from Newcastle, charged with two counts of sexual assault.

* Mohammad Allakkoud, 18, 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.