A teenager was stabbed to death by a group of Asian men on Friday. Ashley Hedger was the victim of a revenge attack for a bungled robbery.
The 16-year-old was hunted down by a an angry mob from a mosque, was punched, kicked and stabbed in the head and left to die outside an Indian grocer's shop.
Trouble began after Ashley got off a bus with four friends in Upton Park where he lived in Barnardo's care home. One of the boys in his group is believed to have tried to rob a mobile phone from two Asian youths. The two Asians fled into a nearby mosque, from where, within minutes an angry mob came running for revenge. They chased the teenagers, and Ashley apparently not involved in the robbery was caught.
The owner of the store, outside of which Ashley was left, Roshan Singh, 48, spoke of the vicious attack. Ashley was taken to Newham General Hospital but died after two hours.
Mr Singh said he pleaded for the men to stop but none took notice. "They started fighting, then I went outside and said 'Stop! Stop fighting!' I was absolutely terrified. A group of boys were beating this one poor lad.
"He had been knifed in his temple and was covered in blood. They were all Asian teenage lads and they were attacking one white boy, who is a regular visitor to my shop. He fell on the floor and I saw he had a knife in his head. It was stuck into his head near his eye, half in, half out. There was no handle, just the blade of the knife."
Police has questioned worshippers at the mosque and searched it for clues. However, the police maintains that it was a spontaneous incident and "not a pre-planned altercation or a clash between two rival groups."