Defendant undergoes assessment to discover how old he is after alleged attack at asylum hotelMigrant charged with sexually assaulting child appears at youth court – as no one knows his age
A migrant accused of sexually assaulting a child at an asylum hotel has appeared at a youth court, as officials do not know his age.
The case will be heard in a youth court while the true age of the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is assessed.
He has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy under 13 by touching.
The alleged attack on Sept 9 this year reportedly took place at a hotel in Walthamstow, east London, which hosts hundreds of refugees.
Just a month later, a teenage boy was allegedly raped at the same hotel by a different alleged offender.
Age assessment to be carried out
Appearing at Stratford Youth Court on Wednesday, the accused spoke only to confirm his name and address through an interpreter.
None of the facts of the case were read out during the brief five minute hearing. The charge was not put to the accused and he has not yet entered a plea.
He appeared in a youth court, which observes additional rules intended to protect the welfare of young people, as opposed to an adult court because of the possibility he is underage.
The court decided it should proceed in this way in case he has not turned 18.
District Judge Ross Johnson adjourned the case to Nov 23, pending the completion of an age assessment by Waltham Forest Council.
The defendant will appear at Stratford Youth Court that day unless he is found to be an adult, in which case he will appear before Stratford Magistrates’ Court.
He was bailed on condition that he does not enter the hotel where the alleged offence occurred or contact the alleged victim.
A teenage boy being housed at the same hotel was reportedly raped on Oct 5 by a man in his 30s, who has been bailed until next year.