A mother-of-three was allegedly drugged and raped by a gang of migrants in Sunderland, sparking violent demonstrations and social unrest in the city.
The 26-year-old woman believes her drink was spiked during a night out, leading to her waking up in a strange house covered in cuts and bruises. She has no memory of getting there.
Police have arrested six men from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain on suspicion drugging and sexually assaulting her.
Speaking for local police, Chief Inspector Paul Milner said: “We know the woman had been in Sunderland City Centre on Saturday night before waking up in a strange address in Peel Street with cuts and bruises.
“She managed to leave the house and get to a family member’s home at around 5am on Sunday morning.
“The victim believes her drink may have been spiked.
“This is obviously a very serious incident and something we know the local community will be concerned about and we will have officers on patrol to offer reassurance to anyone who may be concerned and answer any queries they may have.”
MailOnline reports the attack led to violent protests as nationalist demonstrators took to the streets, clashing with members of the local Muslim community.
The demonstrators smashed windows at the house where the alleged assault took place, resulting in two Asian men unconnected with the attack being injured.
Five of the demonstrators have now been charged with offences including affray and drugs offences.
The protest has led to local MP Julie Elliott calling for calm amid increasing tensions between the city’s different communities.
The six men suspected of assaulted the woman are on bail until 17 October.