A 16-year-old boy in the U.K. has been sentenced to 18 months of “youth rehabilitation” after being convicted for racially attacking a Singaporean student last year.
The teen, who targeted Jonathan Mok for having the “coronavirus,” was found guilty of racially aggravated grievous bodily harm in a trial at Highbury Corner Youth Court earlier this month.
The incident, which left Mok with facial fractures, occurred around 9:15 p.m. in Oxford Street, London on Feb. 24, 2020.
“I saw one of them look at me (just as he walked past me) and said something to me, which I could make out the word ‘coronavirus,’” Mok wrote of the attack, which involved four male perpetrators. “I was stunned and turned around to have a look at the man [who] made the statement. He was still staring at me as he walked past and realised I was looking at him.”
The 16-year-old boy was said to be a lead perpetrator. He pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily injuries last August but denied racial motivations.
However, the teen was eventually tried for racially aggravated grievous bodily harm. “He [Mok] was clearly targeted in this hate crime because of his ethnic appearance,” said Daniel Kavanagh of the Crown Prosecution Service.
On Wednesday, chair of the bench Mervyn Mandell gave the teen an 18-month youth rehabilitation order. Mandell warned that he “would have gone to jail for a very long time” if he was an adult, according to BBC News.
The teen was ordered to wear an electronic tag and obey a curfew order between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. for 10 weeks. He must also pay Mok 600 pounds ($820) in compensation.
Mok required reconstructive surgery to his nose and cheekbone. He was forced to discontinue his legal studies for a month and continues to suffer from anxiety.
No one else has been charged in the attack. The teen apologized for his actions before being sentenced.
“When I saw the picture [of Mok] I felt disgusted. I apologize for my actions,” he said.
Mok’s group of five attackers included a female, according to The Straits Times.
Feature Images via Jonathan Mok