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Hunt for two women who hit and spat at pensioners

PUBLISHED: 11:59 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 07 September 2010

CCTV images of suspects

CCTV images of suspects

Susanna Wilkey IMAGES of two women who committed a vicious assault on an elderly couple as they travelled through Hampstead have been released by police hoping to catch the callous attackers. The 63-year-old couple were assaulted and spat at by the pair

CCTV images of suspects

Susanna Wilkey

IMAGES of two women who committed a vicious assault on an elderly couple as they travelled through Hampstead have been released by police hoping to catch the callous attackers.

The 63-year-old couple were assaulted and spat at by the pair of young women on an Overground train travelling between Finchley Road and Frognal and Gospel Oak stations.

They were attacked after sitting opposite the pair who proceeded to punch both the man and woman several times in the face after spitting at them.

The woman suffered bruising to her face and the man suffered a cut to his upper lip. Both were treated for shock after the incident.

DI Dave Aiton, British Transport Police investigating officer, said: "This was a violent assault in which two young women were prepared to physically assault two older people.

"While neither victim was seriously injured, both were very shaken by what happened.

"This type of offence, while rare on trains, is totally unacceptable.

"We have conducted local enquiries and ask for anyone who recognises the individuals pictured to come forward and contact us."

The attack happened just after 9pm on Tuesday August 4 just after the couple had boarded the Overground train.

Police have now released these CCTV images of two women they want to trace in connection with the ongoing investigation into the assault.

The suspects are black women in their mid-to-late twenties. One is around 5ft 10in tall with short black hair and was wearing a dark leather jacket.

The other is around 5ft 7in with long black hair with a ginger streak in it. She was wearing dark leggings and a dark-coloured short skirt.

Community members who work with pensioners in the borough have expressed their shock at the attacks but have told older people not to be put off travelling in light of it.

Fortune Green councillor Flick Rea said: "This is dreadful, absolutely awful, especially because it is older people. I refuse to be put off going out and about by that - but a lot of people are, which makes it worse."

Age Concern Camden's chief executive officer Gary Jones said: "This is a shocking event, but such attacks on older people are rare.

"It's important that older people remain active for their physical and mental well-being and not become isolated.

"London - including Camden - has so much on offer, and transport from Camden is good, though people should take sensible safety precautions.

"Age Concern Camden can help the few who are unlucky enough to be victims of street crime. We can give help on the money side of loss and have a counselling service too."

Anyone with any information about the assault is urged to contact the British Transport Police on 0800 405040 and quote incident number 581 of 4/8/09 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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