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British teens admit to deadly attack on Egyptian-Italian student Mariam Moustafa

Family of dead student complain they were not informed about new court hearing for suspects
A photo of 18-year-old Mariam Moustafa (Facebook)

Six teenage girls are set to be sentenced for the killing of an Italian-Egyptian engineering student in the British city of Nottingham last year.

Mariam Moustafa Abdel Salam, an 18-year-old Italian-born Egyptian, died after being attacked by a gang of British teenagers on 20 February.

The group, who had reportedly previously harassed and attacked her, were sentenced on charges of affray - group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace - which was condemned by the victim's father as "very weak".

I'm very upset. Nobody respects me and my family

Mohamed Moustafa, victim's father

"It's unfair and unjust to charge those whom killed or, at least by their actions, led to her death with such minor offences," said Mohamed Moustafa, speaking to the Press Association, adding there was "strong evidence" that the group could be charged with a stronger offence.

The maximum sentence for affray is three years.

He also said that the family had not been told about the hearing by the authorities, which showed "no respect".

"We should have been informed of that hearing date and time, and we should have been given the opportunity to attend," he was quoted as saying by the BBC. "This very simple right was taken from us.

"I'm very upset. Nobody respects me and my family."

In a statement to the BBC, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was "deeply sorry" for not informing the family about the court hearing.

"We were preparing for trial in this case, two of the three guilty pleas were unexpected and we informed the family immediately," they added.

Middle East Eye has contacted the family's representatives for comment.

'Negligence'

Three of the six teenagers, two aged 17 and one aged 18, admitted their role in the attack in October last year - but the other three had previously denied the affray charge.

However, the PA reported that Mariah Fraser, 19, Britania Hunter, 18, and another 16-year-old girl - whose identity is not disclosed due to being a minor - admitted to the attack at a hearing this month.

The original news of Moustafa's death provoked an outcry from the Egyptian government who claimed that the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham where she had been taken after the attack had been "negligent" in their treatment of her.

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The hospital sent Moustafa home after treating her for what they thought were minor injuries.

However, according to her cousin, Saphia Abdel - who spoke to MEE last year - Moustafa complained of severe pain when she got home and was taken back to the hospital where she “suffered a stroke, bleeding and blood clots in her brain, bleeding in her lungs, was in a coma, and underwent nine surgeries".

She was in a coma for almost a month, before dying.

At the time, Mariam’s family told MEE they believed that the UK government’s reaction had been skewed by racial discrimination.

“Her name is Mariam Moustafa, and not Cathy Johnson. If my daughter was English, they [the British authorities] would not have dealt with her in this way.”