Sunderland shopkeeper fears teenage attacker will strike again

Saly Choudhury outside her convenience store in Valley Road, hendon, Sunderland
Saly Choudhury outside her convenience store in Valley Road, hendon, Sunderland

A TERRIFIED shopkeeper fears her teenage attacker will hurt someone again.

Syeda Chowdhury, known as Saly, was beaten up outside her Hendon home near to the corner shop she runs.

She spoke out about the incident after a trial at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

The 16-year-old attacker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared alongside 39-year-old Jacqueline Wright.

Both denied assault, but magistrates convicted the teenager.

Mrs Wright, of Mordey Close, Hendon, was cleared of taking part in the incident on March 9.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Chowdhury said: “I thought it was my last day when I was attacked. I’m now more of an indoor person because I’m scared.”

She fears the justice system will not impose sufficient penalty to have an influence on the teenager.

“They get no punishment, these kind of people, so she will do it again,” she added.

Trouble broke out after the two women and a man went into the store in Hendon Valley Road, which Mrs Chowdhury has run for more than three years.

There was a row over a stolen box of crisps and Mrs Chowdhury claimed she was attacked on her doorstep, in front of her terrified children.

The teenage attacker admitted she had drank cider and Desperados – a lager flavoured with tequila – and was “seven or eight-out-of-10 drunk.”

However, she denied hitting Mrs Chowdhury first or trying to strangle her with her scarf, saying it was self-defence.

She said: “She whacked me over the head with her shoe. She grabbed my hair and we were having a bit of a struggle.

“I was trying to get her off me. I was not shouting and swearing at her.”

She agreed with prosecutor Chris Wood that she could have her walked away from the fight, but her first reaction was to hit Mrs Chowdhury.

The court had heard allegations that Mrs Chowdhury, who gave evidence on Monday, hit the girl with a shoe.

Also, defence solicitor Tony Southwick claimed evidence against his clients was “unreliable” and “unsatisfactory”.

However, chairman of the bench Glynn Lister said magistrates believed Mrs Chowdhury hit the girl with the shoe after her hair was pulled, and the teen was not acting in self-defence.

The teenager, who had no previous convictions, will be sentenced at Sunderland Youth Court tomorrow.

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