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7th Jul, 2022

Gang of rampaging youths descend on Stratford café

STAFF had to barricade the doors of a Stratford café to keep out a gang of rampaging youths.

The yobs, thought to be aged around 12 to 16, tried to kick down the doors of The Deli Cafe on Meer Street on Thursday afternoon.

There were no customers in the café, but owner Jean Haflam said two of her regulars on seeing the gang, were too frightened to approach.

Jean told the Observer her two ‘strong’ chefs manged to block the doors before then preventing the gang making off with tables and chairs from outside.

Jean’s sister, who works in the café, was kicked and suffered a cut hand as she tried to grab a table, and Jean herself was caught on her side as she tried to pull a chair from one of the gang.

Chef Ashley Faria chased after the group which ran through Debenhams, Bell Court and down to Wood Street.

He was on the phone to police as he ran, and flagged officers down after spotting an approaching car.

They were eventually caught near Poundland where the chef left police to deal with the youths.

Jean said this was not the first she had heard of a gang intimidating residents around the town.

She added: “These feral children need to be stopped.

“I was going to set the hose on them if they got in. I didn’t want to start any fighting because that means I’d be as bad as them.

“They should be named and shamed. Stratford needs to be cleaned up.”

It is believed the gang were shouting abuse at French schoolchildren on Henley Street before descending on The Deli Cafe.

News of the attack was shared on social media with some residents saying they saw the youths kicking signs and shouting abuse.

Police said no arrests were made but have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101.

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