A six-strong gang of women who attacked two others over a row which started on social media have been handed prison sentences.
The women were sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday (31 May) over the attack, which was filmed and then shared on WhatsApp.
After a number of disputes online, the two victims agreed to meet Bano Begum, Bushra Noreen and Shereen Hussain at a venue in Luton town centre.
The groups met and had a cordial conversation, after which they went into a nearby alleyway to smoke.
At this stage the group was joined by Sanna Noreen, Smaavia Masood and Isma Hussain.
The larger group shouted aggressively at the two victims urging them to fight them, before Begum grabbed one of the victims and punched and kicked her.
The other victim tried to intervene, but was then pulled to the ground by her hair. She was punched and kicked while she was on the ground.
The two groups then travelled to Brantwood Park, where the assault continued. Neither of the victims suffered serious injuries.
Bushra Noreen, 18, of Kingsway, Luton, was jailed for seven months.
The remaining women – Begum, 20, of Longcroft Road, Luton; Isma Hussain, 19, of Dallow Road, Luton; Sanna Noreen, 20, of Kingsway, Luton; Masood, 20, of Cornel Close, Luton, and Shereen Hussain, 20, of Toddington Road, Luton – were given suspended sentences.
DC James Bateman, who led the investigation, said: “This was a targeted attack by a group against two innocent women. The fact they filmed and shared the attack on WhatsApp was especially shocking.
“The growth in smart phones has transformed social media accessibility and created an almost unlimited opportunity for rivals to antagonise each other, and for those taunts to be viewed by a much larger audience for a much longer time period.
“This case shows how such arguments and disagreements over social media can spill into the real world. We will not tolerate this sort of abuse and violence and it is right those involved have been given prison sentences.
“We also hope the sentences can give some comfort to the victims and their families.”