A GANG of six teenagers have been charged with hate crimes after last year's sickening spate of attacks on Asian pensioners and a schoolboy in Cradley Heath.

The attacks in October led to Cradley Heath Neighbourhood Police Team launching an investigation to capture those responsible for the verbal abuse and physical attacks on worshippers at Plant Street mosque.

Six teenagers have been charged, none of which can be named due to legal reasons as they are all under 18-years-old.

A 17-year-old lad from Cradley Heath is charged with three counts of racially-aggravated assault.

The teenager, a sales assistant, is accused of punching and kicking men aged 68 and 70 in separate attacks on October 16 and 17 and slapping an eight-year-old boy outside the mosque on October 24.

Five other lads – two 16-year-olds, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old,  have also been charged with racially-aggravated harassment and criminal damage to a motor vehicle.

All six  have been bailed and are set to appear at Sandwell Youth Court on February 3.

Neighbourhood police Sergeant Mandy Morgan, said: “We pride ourselves on the close working relationship we have with our local community and will always to seek prosecute people suspected of committing crimes of this nature. It is totally unacceptable.

She added: “Officers have been working closely with the local Mosque and continue to offer reassurance to local residents.”

All but the youngest suspect have also been charged with criminal damage when it’s alleged they surrounded and kicked a 58-year-old man’s car in Reddal Hill Road on the evening of October 20 causing extensive bodywork damage and writing it off.

For personal safety advice or to report hate crimes visit: www.report-it.org.uk.