“Cruel” youths try to set passenger’s hair on fire at Stratford

Police are appealing for witnesses after “cruel” youths boarded a train at Stratford and tried to set a woman’s hair on fire.

The British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident took place on Monday February 6.

The 46-year-old woman was alone on the 5.17pm Greater Anglia service from Liverpool Street to Shenfield.

Det Con Adam Fairweather, the investigating officer, said: “The victim, from Romford, had boarded the service at Liverpool Street alone.

“She took a seat close to the doors in one of the middle carriages and noticed three young men board the train when it arrived at Stratford.

“A couple of minutes later, the victim could smell burning, when she turned to look she realised the boys had been trying to set her hair alight.

“Worried for her own safety, the victim chose not to challenge the youths after another passenger told them to stop what they were doing and move away.”

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The three boys left the service when it arrived at Romford around 5.40pm.

The victim stayed on the train and reported the incident to police when she arrived at Harold Wood.

Det Con Fairweather added: “This type of behaviour is dangerous, cruel and totally unacceptable and I am determined to catch those responsible.

“If you were on the train and saw anything, or if you noticed this group anywhere in the vicinity of Romford rail station on 6 February, please contact us as a matter of urgency.”

The group is described as three male youths, all white, aged between 12-14 years.

The first male was approximately 4ft 11ins tall with a chubby build. He was wearing red tracksuit bottoms with a Nike tick and a black hooded bodywarmer.

The second male was approximately 5ft 6ins with a slim build. He was wearing a grey jumper and tracksuit bottoms.

The third male was smaller than the other two in height and of a small build. He was wearing an orange hooded jacket.

Anyone with information can call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B5/LNA of 17/02/2012. Or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.