Woman hit with belt, punched and mugged in Dagenham street

The three will appear in court later this month

The three will appear in court later this month - Credit: Archant

A young woman who was beaten with a belt, punched and mugged by a gang says she is now terrified of leaving her home.

The 21-year-old and three female friends had just got off the bus in Wood Lane, Dagenham at around 3.15am yesterday when the frightening attack happened.

Six young men, who had also been on the number 5 bus, followed them a short distance before one began hitting the victim, who wants to remain anonymous, with a belt.

She told the Post: “We had all got on at Romford and one of them said something really rude to me, so I swore at him.

“We got off near Five Elms School and not long after this guy starts whacking my with his belt which had a metal buckle

“It hit me on my back and the back of my head. Then this other guy began punching me - and hit me in the jaw. I remember hearing the others say: ‘Come on hit her!’

“At one point another one of them slapped my friend in the face.”

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The woman says she put her bag and her coat on the ground to cover her face with her hands, when the youth with the belt grabbed the items and, together with the rest of the gang, ran off in the direction of Valence Park.

“At the time I was full of adrenaline,” she explained, “and I actually ran after them, but lost them.”

One of her friends called police, who collected the women and took them home.

“When I arrived home, it hit me what happened, plus the pain of the injuries kicked in - that’s when I became hysterical.

“Since then I’ve been afraid to leave my home - it’s left me terrified.”

The victim, who suffered cuts and bruises, described the men as aged between about 17 and 20 and said four were black, one Asian and one white. “The one with the belt was black, about six foot and athletic,” she added.

Officers from Barking and Dagenham’s Robbery Squad are investigating. Anyone with information should call 101.