Last updated at 12:48 PM on 10th December 2011
Victim: Rhea Page, 22, feels she has become a victim again after her attackers faced court -this time of soft justice
When Rhea Page watched CCTV in court of herself being beaten unconscious by a Muslim girl gang and saw one of her attackers laughing she felt disgusted.
The 22-year-old was determined to face her attackers and see justice done after she was viciously assaulted while waiting for a taxi with her boyfriend in Leicester city centre.
But the healthcare worker was bitterly disappointed as all four girls walked free from court for the random attack, which left Rhea with a bald patch where her hair was ripped out, because they were Somalian Muslims and not used to drinking alcohol.
Far from feeling a sense of relief after her attackers’ sentencing Rhea feels like she has become a victim all over again, this time of a soft justice system which let her attackers walk free.
Rhea told The Sun: ‘I was so shocked by the sentence, it was disgusting. It’s not sending out the right message about street violence.’
And Rhea, who is still haunted by her attack 18 months ago, is disturbed by the fact her attackers, three sisters and a cousin, mentioned race in their defence when it was the gang who screamed ‘kill the white slag’ at her.
Ambaro Maxamed, 24, students Ayan Maxamed, 28, and Hibo Maxamed, 24, and their 28-year-old cousin Ifrah Nur each admitted actual bodily harm, which carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
Rhea, who worked caring for people with autism and learning difficulties but gave up the job because of stress and flashbacks, was treated for bruises and grazes after the attack in June last year as she walked to a taxi rank with boyfriend Lewis Moore, 23.
She told The Sun: ‘I didn’t say anything about race or religion. It was their lawyer who used their race and religion in mitigation. It doesn’t matter what religion they are it’s about what they did to me.’
Despite it being 18 months after the attack Rhea is still having counselling and is haunted by the events of that night.
She said: ‘We were just minding our own business but they kept shouting “white bitch” and “white slag” at me. When I turned around one of them grabbed my hair then threw me on the ground.
Yobs: Sisters Hibo and Ambaro Maxamed, both 24, who attacked Rhea. They were both given six month suspended jail sentences
Girl gang:Ayan Maxamad, 28, left, and her cousin Ifrah Nur, 28, who were also involved in the attack in Leicester
‘They were taking turns to kick me over and over. I thought they were going to kill me.’
Speaking just after sentencing Rhea said the gang deserved ‘immediate custody’.
‘It’s no punishment at all,’ she said. ‘And for them to say they did it because they were not used to alcohol is no excuse. If they were not supposed to be drinking then they shouldn’t have been out in bars at that time of night.
‘Even after the police came and they all ran away, one of them came running back to kick me in the head one last time.
‘I honestly think they attacked me just because I am white. I can’t think of any other reason.’
Attack: Three of the young women can be seen setting upon Rhea Page, 22, in the centre of Leicester. Despite leaving her traumatised, they were handed suspended sentences
Thugs: Rhea Page is seen lying on the ground after being attacked. The four girls had screamed ‘kill the white slag’ as they kicked her
And Rhea said she has only been on a night out once since the attack, where she felt panicked and ‘wanted to burst into tears.’
She told The Sun: ‘This has had a devastating effect on my life and they have just been allowed to get away with it.’
Rhea even fought with boyfriend Lewis in the months after the assault and briefly moved to live with her father in Skegness.
She added: ‘I used to love having a giggle with my friends on a night out. I used to be loads more outgoing and had loads of confidence but that’s gone.’
Judge Robert Brown gave all four girls suspended jail terms after hearing mitigation that as Muslims, the women were not used to being drunk.
Moving on: Rhea, 22, was with her partner Lewis Moore, 23, when she was attacked -they are trying to get their life back on track
Gary Short, mitigating for Ambaro Maxamed, said the attack was down to alcohol. He said: ‘They’re Somalian Muslims and alcohol or drugs isn’t something they’re used to.’
Judge Brown said that ‘those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside’.
But he said he accepted the women may have felt they were the victims of unreasonable force from Mr Moore as he tried to defend his girlfriend, and handed the defendants a suspended sentence.
In the months after the 13 minute attack police told Rhea she was lucky to be alive.
While her attackers celebrated after sentancing with Ambaro Maxamed writing on her Twitter account: ‘Happy happy happy!’, ‘I’m so going out’, and ‘Today has been such a great day’, Rhea is left with a mixture of feelings.
She has just recently passed an NVQ level three in health and social science and has started a new job.
But her life is forever altered by the events of that night.
And Rhea just has one wish for the future.
That the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.