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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Miriam Burrell

Women’s group boss ‘bitten and has hair pulled out in racist Tube attack’

A campaigner for a women’s organisation says she was bitten and had clumps of her hair ripped out by a woman during a race attack on the Tube.

Selma Taha, from Southall Black Sisters, said the incident happened as she and two friends travelled on a Northern Line train between Camden Town to King’s Cross.

She said the incident began on Friday night when one of the friends was nearly hit by the alleged attacker’s suitcase.

When they asked her to move the suitcase, Ms Taha claims the woman responded by using racist language including calling them “slaves” and making monkey noises.

The situation developed into a physical confrontation, Ms Taha said, telling the BBC: “She went for my hair. She bit me through my clothes. I could feel burning and was screaming ‘she’s biting me’.

“I thought she would actually come away with flesh in her mouth.”

She later attended hospital where she was given a tetanus shot and antibiotics due to a “rash” around the wounds.

(Southhall Black Sisters)

A woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially-aggravated public order offence, and was released on bail while inquiries continue.

Ms Taha said she had submitted a complaint to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards saying an off-duty police officer on board the train did not intervene quickly enough.

The Met Police said: “A complaint has been received by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and we have made a referral to the Independent Office of Police Conduct.”

British Transport Police (BTP) told the Standard in a statement: “Officers received a report around 11.30pm on September 29 of an altercation on board a Northern Line Underground train.

“An off-duty officer from the Metropolitan Police intervened and separated the group before escorting passengers off at the next stop, King’s Cross, and calling the British Transport Police for assistance.

“BTP officers quickly attended and arrested a 30-year-old woman who was being detained by the off-duty officer on the platform. It was reported she had been racially abusive and bitten one of the group during the altercation.

“She was arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially aggravated public order offence and has been released on bail while enquiries continue to establish the full circumstances of what happened on board the train.

“Anyone who witnessed what happened and hasn’t already spoken to police is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 6 of 30 September.”

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