Ilford street traders punch 13-year-old girl in the face

No one stopped to help the family the victim said.

No one stopped to help the family the victim said. - Credit: Archant

Men held a mother back, punched her 13-year-old daughter in the face and threw a watermelon at her son after the family asked for a refund from a street seller in Ilford.

The victim, who wishesto remain anonymous, 35, was shopping for Ramadan gifts on Sunday, May 5, with her three children when she spotted a woman selling perfume in the High Road.

After buying three bottles for £40, she had "second thoughts" and questioned whether the purchase was "too good to be true".

She opened one of the packets and after taking a peek at the "fake looking bottle" she returned to the vendor for a refund.

"I said I wanted the money back but the lady said no because the packet was open," she said.

"When I threatened to call the police her husband came out of nowhere and said it was real perfume."

"I told my son to start ringing the police and the man scratched the seller on the face and shouted at her in another language.

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"My money was then thrown onto the floor for me to pick up."

As the mother went to get the cash, the man spat on her and feeling humiliated she slapped him around the face.

"I didn't want my children to think that it was right for a man to spit on a woman," she said.

"It was about dignity.

"But after I did it, the lady started scratching me and jumped on my back.

"More men appeared from nowhere and started punching me in the head and chest.

"My 13-year-old daughter shouted at the men and punched them to try and help me but then some held me back while one punched her in the face - she still has a black eye and lots of scratches.

"My six-year-old started crying and my son just froze - they even threw a watermelon at him before running off."

The victim said she feels guilty for taking her children out shopping with her and said it has put her off going out with them to Ilford again.

She is proud of her "brave" daughter for trying to protect her and is shocked to think that grown men would ever hit a teenage girl.

"Now when I go out I always look over my shoulder," she added.

"Physically we are healing up but emotionally it will take longer.

"The perfume sellers target vulnerable women and children and I wanted to share my story to raise awareness with other mums."

Police have launched an investigation and confirm an assault took place in the High Road at 3.25pm.

"The woman purchased perfume from a stall outside Primark and returned to the stall when she realised the products were counterfeit," a Met Police spokesman said.

"She was spat at, slapped and pushed by a man and woman selling the products.

"The suspects made off towards Ilford Hill."

No arrests have been made and inquiries continue.

If you have any information contact police on 101.