Times caption: Mariam Moustafa, 18, is thought to have suffered a stroke
and bleeding on the brain in the attack in the centre of Nottingham
A shocking piece posted online by The Times:
An Egyptian engineering student has died three weeks after she was beaten up by a gang of ten women and girls in a city centre while waiting for a bus.
Mariam Moustafa, 18, was punched and dragged 20 metres by a “group of women” outside the Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham on February 20 at about 8pm.
The student was punched several times in Parliament Street before she got on to the No 27 bus outside the shopping centre. She was followed on to the bus by the gang of women, who were threatening and abusive towards her before they got off. Her mother said that she was previously abused in the street by the same gang but that the police failed to act.
Ms Moustafa, from St Ann’s, had been due to meet her mother and sister later that evening but never turned up. She was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre after the attack and was discharged but she started to deteriorate at home and was rushed back to hospital the same day. She was placed in an induced coma but died yesterday.
A 17-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. She was bailed pending further investigation. Police are still appealing for witnesses to come forward.
According to an Egyptian newspaper, Ms Moustafa’s mother, Nessrin Shehata, posted a video on social media saying: “Four months ago, two of the same ten women abused my daughter in the street with no specific reason. We went to the police station and issued an official complaint; however, nothing happened.”
She said that the gang attacked her daughter when they saw her in the street again walking alone.
She told Egypt Today: “She managed to get up and run towards one of the buses but they went after her and started to beat her again. Just one man tried to defend her but no one else tried to interfere.”
The Home Office is due to carry out a post-mortem examination. It is understood that Ms Moustafa, who was studying at Central College in Beeston and had been offered a university place in London, suffered a stroke and bleed on the brain during the attack.
Egypt has questioned the response to the attack. Emad Abu Hussein, a lawyer at the Egyptian embassy in London, said in late February: “Mariam has been in coma for three days after she underwent a critical surgery in the brain to treat her deteriorated condition. The hospital sent her home despite her severe cerebral haemorrhage.”
Ahmed Abu Zeid, a spokesman for Egypt’s foreign ministry, said that the incident would have been captured on CCTV cameras on the streets and bus. He, too, accused the hospital of negligence by discharging her early.
Ms Moustafa’s sister, Mallak, 15, speaking on behalf of the family last month, described her as a “kind, ambitious person” who was living “her dreams of being an engineer”.
She said: “We don’t understand who would do this to her. She is very quiet and never gets involved in any problems. We never got to find out what happened from her because she didn’t get a chance to tell us before she fell unwell.
“We are hoping that her brain is recovering while she is in a coma and until that happens we will continue to be by her side every day at the hospital. We are all very shocked and upset and don’t know what to do. We just want those who did this to Mariam to be found as what has happened is wrong.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mat Healey, of Nottinghamshire police, said: “Our thoughts are with the woman’s family, who we are giving support to at this difficult time. Our investigation is ongoing and extensive inquiries have already been completed but we’re urging anyone with any information to get in touch with us.
“We know there were a lot of people standing at the bus stop when the assault happened and we’re urging them to please come forward with any information which could help us.”
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