Police are investigating an attack on two mums and their children are appealing for help to find those responsible.
Updated: October 12: both men have now been charged and are due to appear at court here in Manchester today, we will further update the article when we know more.
At around 2.10pm on August 20 police received a report that two men had attacked and abused two women and their young children, a three year-old girl, a five month old baby in a pram and a ten-year-old girl in a wheelchair with severe disabilities.
The mums had gone into Manchester city centre with their children on a day out when two men began shouting abuse at the 10-year-old girl outside Boots on Market Street under the Arndale food court.
Incredibly distressed by what had just happened to all of them, the mums retreated to McDonalds in St Anns Square to calm the children down. Unfortunately the men arrived at the restaurant shortly after.
The men brazenly sat themselves next to their victims and again began abusing the little girl in the wheelchair, shouting derogatory comments and threatening violence.
As the girl became increasingly upset, her mum stood up to confront the men about their behaviour. She was then punched in the face by one of them leading to a scuffle between the two men and the mums.
A drink was then thrown at the little girl but ended up covering all of the children including the baby, and one of the mums.
Investigating officers have now released images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with the assaults, and are appealing for the public’s help to identify them.
This is being treated as a hate crime.
Police Constable Dave Stebbings from GMP’s Manchester city centre team said: “Occasionally, we receive reports that make you sick to the stomach.
“How anyone could attack and abuse young children and their mums on a day out, I have no idea.
“During the commotion the 10-year-old girl ended up hiding under a table shaking, extremely distressed by the abuse and assault on her mother. It breaks your heart thinking about this.
“I would like to hear from anyone who recognises the men in the images to get in touch. I also hope to hear from anyone who witnessed these abhorrent assaults.
“Thankfully the injuries sustained will leave no visible scars, but the mums and their children will take much longer to recover from the trauma of their experience.
“There is no place for this appalling behaviour in society.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 3221, alternatively call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.