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Gravesend schoolgirl punched and stamped on in gang attack

By Chris Hunter

A 13-year-old schoolgirl was taken to hospital after being punched and stamped on during a brutal gang attack.

Madison Coggin was making her way home from Thamesview School in Thong Lane on Tuesday afternoon when she was set upon by a group of teenagers, following a campaign of bullying and threats.

Mum Michaela Ratcliffe, of Dering Way, Gravesend, is now calling on police and the school to take action but fears little is being done to prevent future attacks.

Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428446)
Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428446)

"There was a video done at school a while ago showing one girl saying 'I'm so excited I can't wait for it to happen,'" she said, speaking the day after the attack.

"They were planning on getting my daughter beaten up.

"I've been picking her up, taking her to and from school to protect her, but yesterday she said 'don't worry I'm going to walk home.'"

She described how an exchange of words outside school then led to Madison being surrounded by teenagers.

"The girl walked off and five minutes later walked back with 20 other girls and boys," she added. "There were boys on bikes with them. It's disgusting.

"Madison heard one girl say 'shall I video it?'

"An older boy hit her. A girl was stamping on her head. The other girl was just standing there laughing.

"Then a woman came out of her house - she heard Madison screaming but by that time they had all run off."

Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428151)
Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428151)

After receiving a call from one of Madison's friends, Mrs Ratcliffe took her daughter to hospital, where she underwent x-rays on a suspected fracture cheekbone.

She was also due to attend hospital again today for further assessment on a leg injury sustained in the attack.

Meanwhile Mrs Ratcliffe has spoken further with staff at Thamesview School but says further attacks will happen if nothing is done to address bullying at the school.

"The school want to go ahead with a managed move, but I don't want to," she added. "We've moved from Essex - I was put in a refuge, and my daughter seen domestic violence - she's seen quite a lot.

"She was was hurting herself and very depressed, and has had counselling."

"Apparently they're (the bullies) targetting six more, " she added. "I think it's going to get to the point of needing a PCSO to stand outside the school."

A statement from the school said staff were working to address the matter.

Headteacher George Rorke said: “I am aware of an incident that occurred outside of school hours on Tuesday, May 14, during which one of our pupils unfortunately suffered injuries on her way home.

Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428241)
Madison Coggin needed hospital treatment after being set upon my bullies (10428241)

“Although the alleged perpetrators do not attend Thamesview School, we are working closely with the local police to find a solution for our student and her family. Several meetings have taken place since the incident, with the student and her family to try to ensure appropriate support is put in place.

“Any students who may have witnessed or are believed to have helped incite the incident will be addressed.

“The safety and well-being of all our pupils is paramount at all times and we will take all measures necessary to ensure the young people at Thamesview School can learn and socialise in a safe environment.”

Police confirmed they were called to a report that a schoolgirl had been assaulted by three girls in Thong Lane, Gravesend, at 3.09pm on Tuesday, May 14, and that the victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment to a facial injury.

They say officers have spoken with a number of people involved in the incident and initial enquiries are under way.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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