Woman attacked by boy in Canning Town park speaks out

keir hardie rec

Keir Hardie Recreation Ground - Credit: Google

A woman has spoken out about safety after a group of boys targeted her as she walked through a park.

Julie Browne was on a path in Keir Hardie Recreation Ground, Canning Town, when a teenager on an electric scooter nearly barrelled into her.

The 69-year-old challenged the lad, before moments later he and his mates started hurling abuse and obscenities at her.

Julie kept walking and left the park, thinking by the time she took the route back again the group would have disappeared.

But as she returned, she saw them lying in wait for her.

"It was like being attacked by a pack of jackals, screaming at me, shouting at me, being really, really threatening.

"I was terrified. I walked away quickly, shouting at them to leave me alone," Julie said.

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Then Julie felt a smack on the back of her head. One of the thugs had thrown a can of drink at her. 

"I thought someone had hit me with an iron bar. I wheeled around and there they all were, screaming, shouting and laughing. I don't know when I was more scared.

"They were like savages," she said.

Julie rang 999 and when the gang heard her telling the police what happened they fled.

She was shaken and suffered a headache for two days, but said she was not surprised the attack happened.

"That park is an absolute crime scene waiting to happen," she added.

Drug-taking, prostitution and drinking had degraded the park, Julie said.

Lockdown meant more people were visiting it, but its tucked away location meant it can be overlooked by police and attract trouble-makers.

The attack took place at about 6pm on March 11 in a week when the death of Sarah Everard sparked debate and protest over women's safety.

Julie said: "Some might say they were just kids, but it was very male behaviour. They knew all the slurs.

"I don't know how some boys grow up feeling this is how they can behave."

On the attack's impact, she added: "I think of myself as an assertive person. I'm an independent woman. But I've hardly been out of my flat since."

Julie called for police to patrol the area to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

A Met spokesperson confirmed the attack, adding further action wasn't taken because there was no CCTV.