Four Syria immigrants have been charged after two 14-year-old girls were allegedly sexually assaulted – just yards from Newcastle United’s stadium.
Omar Badreddin, 18, Mohammed Alfrouh, 20, and Mohammad Allakkoud, 18, all pleaded not guilty at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.
Alfrouh was also charged with sexually assaulting a second 14-year-old girl in the park, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
A 16-year-old boy has also been charged with sexual assault and will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates on September 29.
The two teenage girls were sexually assaulted in May at Leazes Park which is just yards away from the home of Newcastle United, St James’ Park.
One of the men – Mr Badreddin – is originally from Damascus but fled to Jordan as the country was gripped by civil war.
He arrived in the UK last November under the government’s resettlement programme.
At the height of the crisis, the Prime Minister announced plans to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in Britain at a cost of more than half a billion pounds.
So far 1,602 Syrians – including Mr Badreddin – have arrived in the country.
Mr Badreddin and his family were deemed to be vulnerable by the UN refugee agency and were given new homes in Britain.
The three adults charged in connection with the sexual assault have all been released on bail. Their trial has been set for September 26.
THE UK’S SYRIAN VULNERABLE PERSON RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME
Under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement scheme, the Government is working to take in up to 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by the end of this Parliament.
Refugee resettlement involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a country in which they have sought protection.
The resettled refugees are given five years’ Humanitarian Protection status, with permission to work and access public funds.
Official statistics show that 1,602 people had been resettled in the UK under the scheme by the end of March 2016.
Refugees who are to be resettled to Britain receive health assessments and cultural orientations prior to arrival and the International Organisation for Migration ensures their safe arrival into Britain.
Resettled refugees are always met at the airport by organisations such as the Refugee Council.
They are taken to their new homes – usually private lets – and they are helped to adapt to their new surroundings.
Organisations such as the Refugee Council support refugees throughout their first year in the country and offer personalised support to help people access the job market, education, healthcare and mainstream services.
Once they are settled, resettled refugees are able to begin the process of rebuilding their lives in safety; richly contributing to our country in a variety of ways.
Refugees being resettled through Britain’s Gateway programme arrive with indefinite leave to remain.
That means they can stay forever, in acknowledgment that the only reason they are coming to the UK is because the UN’s Refugee Agency has decided it’s not safe for them to keep living in a refugee camp and there is no hope of them ever returning home.