Crime & the Law

Five sentenced for attack on American student in Tower Hamlets

Five men have been convicted and sentenced for a violent bottle attack on a visiting American student.

Francesco Hounye, 22, from Florida, had arrived in the UK just three days before the attack, which occurred on the 17th June 2013.

His attackers smashed a bottle into his face then chased after him to continue their assault, repeatedly kicking and punching him, all of which was captured on CCTV.

The five assailants were sentenced on Monday at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

us student attackers

L-R: Shelim Uddin, Shahdat Hussain, Kamrul Hussain, Masoom Rahman, Samad Uddin. Images: Met Police.

  1. Shelim Uddin, 21 of Fieldgate Mansions, pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial on Monday, 25 June 2014 to grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for six years.
  2. Shahdat Hussain, 20 of Malmesbury Terrace, pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial to grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 22 months in a young offenders’ institute.
  3. Kamrul Hussain, 23 of Stepney Way, pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial to grievous bodily harm and has been jailed for two years and three months.
  4. Masoom Rahman, 22 of Greatorex Street, pleaded guilty on the second day of the trial to grievous bodily harm and received a 18-month sentence suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay Mr Hounye £600 compensation.
  5. Samad Uddin, 25 of Columbia Road, pleaded guilty on the third day of the trial to grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for five-and-a half years.

The victim had been on a night out in the Brick Lane area with a friend he was staying with.

They were walking back to the friend’s home in Shadwell.

They passed a group of men standing outside a restaurant in New Road, E1.

The court heard that the group’s body language was hostile, and victim and his friend were followed by the five men down New Road towards Commercial Road, where they launched their attack.

Francesco was taken to the Royal London Hospital with deep slash wounds to his head and around his right ear, and a fractured left eye socket. He needed 23 stitches to his face and more stitches internally. He has suffered permanent scarring and a chipped tooth.


Image: Met Police.


He has said of the attack:

“Prior to this incident I was a confident, ‘happy-go-lucky guy’. Never did I think that something like this would happen to me. As a direct result of this incident, I am now scared to go out on my own, particularly at night, and have become a much quieter and withdrawn person.

I remain a visitor to the UK, but this incident has made me reassess my future plans. I was intending to remain in the UK and attend interviews as a personal trainer to fund my studies; however I could not attend job interviews when my face looked like it did.

I felt very emotional about the whole situation at the time, and I am continuing to attend regular counselling sessions with a psycho-therapist, which began in January 2014. I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and now take regular medication to help me sleep.

As a direct result of this incident, the course in which I wanted to take my life and career has completely changed. Due to the medication I am taking, I have been advised not to travel and therefore have not been able to return to the US. As a consequence I have been dropped by my college and all the work I had previously completed towards my pilot’s licence has now been wasted.

I now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that has been left as a result of this attack as well as the emotional distress it has caused me. These physical scars now act as a permanent reminder of what happened to me on that night.”

Investigating officer Detective Constable Ben Mott, from Tower Hamlets police, said:

“This was a savage, unprovoked and prolonged attack by five men on an innocent visitor to London.

I hope the sentences handed down by the Judge today go some way to providing Francesco Hounye with a sense of justice and closure and continue to demonstrate that the Metropolitan Police and the CPS are committed to putting perpetrators of violence in front of the courts.”

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