- The 26-year-old said she woke up in a strange house with cuts and bruises
- She believes her drink had been spiked on a night out in Sunderland
- The attack provoked far-right protesters to demonstrate in the city
- Police arrested six men from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain over the rape
A mother-of-three has allegedly been drugged and raped by a gang of migrants – sparking violent demonstrations. The 26-year-old said she woke up in a strange house with cuts and bruises, and believes her drink had been spiked on a night out before she was abducted and sexually assaulted. Police arrested and bailed six men – aged between 20-30 – from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain over the September 4 attack in Sunderland.
Far-right supporters organised a protest six days in the city after the alleged attack which turned violent. Those on the march, including members of the Sunderland Defence League, met outside The Ivy Leaf Club at 11am on September 10. They smashed windows at the terraced house where the woman says she was attacked and clashed with a counter protest, led by members of the Asian community. Police rushed to control the demonstrations which was attended by dozens protesters. Two Asian men, unconnected with the alleged rape, were injured and five men, all from Sunderland, were arrested for offences including affray.
Philip Hacker, 38, was charged with affray and possessing a controlled drug; Gary Hutchinson was charged with affray; Sean Ruffell, 25, was charged with affray and possessing an offensive weapon; Darren Kerr, 25, was charged with affray and Kevin Sayers, 30, was charged with disorderly conduct. Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott last night called for calm.
Southern Area Command Chief Inspector Paul Milner said: ‘We know the woman had been in Sunderland City Centre on Saturday night before waking up in a strange address in Peel Street with cuts and bruises. ‘She managed to leave the house and get to a family member’s home at around 5am on Sunday morning.
‘The victim believes her drink may have been spiked.
‘This is obviously a very serious incident and something we know the local community will be concerned about and we will have officers on patrol to offer reassurance to anyone who may be concerned and answer any queries they may have.’
The six men are on bail until October 17.