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Thugs stalked and attacked overseas student at Metford

The 19-year-old woman was returning home by train when she was stalked and attacked.A group of teenagers stalked and attacked an overseas a University of Newcastle student at Metford on Wednesday night.
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The 19-year-old woman was returning home by train when she disembarked at Metford Station about 9.50pm.

She thought a group of about six teenagers were following her, but continued to walk home.

The group was made up of five males and one female, all between about 14 and 17 years old.

The victim crossed the station car park and started on her way along Boyd Avenue when she felt something tug at her backpack. She turned to see three people had followed her into the street and were attempting to steal her belongings.

“There was a short struggle with the backpack and the victim dropped her mobile phone, which was taken by the offenders,” a Central Hunter Local Area Command duty officer said.

“The victim was punched in the face before the offenders ran from the scene.”

The attackers took her backpack, which contained cash and bank cards.

Police were called to Boyd Avenue and established a crime scene.

Detectives from Maitland are investigating the assault and urge witnesses or anyone with information to contact police immediately.

Police believe there is nothing to ­suggest the attack was targeted and said it was most likely a crime of opportunity. It is believed CCTV footage from the train station recorded the moments leading up to the attack.

“Police view the matter very ser­iously and will be working hard to find these offenders and make sure they face the court,” a police spokesman said.

The late-night police presence in Metford concerned residents in the area.

A friend of the victim took to Facebook to calm the concerns.

“My friend who is living with us is on her way back from work, walking down from the railway station was followed,” the friend wrote.

“Finally they punched on her eye and grabbed her backpack. We are very stressed from this as she got injured.”

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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