By Lydia Flavell and Kelleigh Bowen
An 18-year-old student who died in hospital three weeks after reportedly being attacked at a bus stop in Nottingham city centre has been described as a “loving, cheerful, fashionable and intelligent girl”.
Mariam Moustafa, who lived in St Ann’s, died at Nottingham City Hospital on Wednesday (March 14).
The Nottingham College student had reportedly been assaulted by a group of women on Parliament Street, close to the Victoria Centre, at around 8pm on Tuesday, February 20.
She got on to a bus, where the attack continued, and later had to be taken to hospital.
Police arrested a 17-year-old girl on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm before Mariam’s death. She was later released on conditional bail.
Nottingham College vice principal Yultan Mellor paid tribute to Mariam on Thursday, saying staff and students had been left “shocked and saddened” by the news.
Video: Mariam with friend Mariam Jankeh John before her death.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with her parents and family at this difficult time. We will do anything we can to support the family,” she said.
“Mariam was a well-liked and able engineering student at our Highfields campus with strong aspirations for her future studies and eventual career. Mariam was a keen student, who worked hard in both theory and practical sessions and was doing very well on her course.“
Friend Mariam Jankeh John, of Hyson Green, told Notts TV: “I lost my best friend and a sister. When I first entered the UK Mariam was the only person that approached me, that was almost four years ago.
“Her family accepted me like theirs. She doesn’t deserve it. She was a loving, cheerful fashionable and intelligent girl.
“We were so close even though we had our differences, she was always caring and loving. My deepest condolences goes to her family especially her mum, they were so close, it must be a very hard time for her. I’m very heartbroken now.”
A Home Office post mortem examination is due to be carried out to try to establish the exact cause of her death.
Detectives re-issued an appeal for information and also warned people to avoid speculating about the reasons behind the alleged attack.
A Notts police spokesman said: “The force is aware of a number of social media posts and discussions that suggest the incident is motivated by hate – however officers believe there is no information to suggest the assault was motivated by hate but continue to keep an open mind.
“Police wanted to remind people this is an active ongoing investigation and legal proceedings are active and urge people to be careful when posting any prejudicial comments on social media as these could place you in contempt of court.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mat Healey said: “Our thoughts are with the woman’s family who we are giving support to at this difficult time.
“Our investigation is ongoing and extensive enquiries have already been completed but we’re urging anyone with any information that could help us with our enquiries to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“We know there were a lot of people standing at the bus stop when the assault happened and we’re urging them to please come forward with any information which could help us.”
Media in Egypt have reported that Mariam was born there and later moved to the UK with her family. Her case has been mentioned in the Egyptian parliament.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Notts Police on 101 quoting incident number 335 of February 21 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.