East Kilbride mum of schoolgirl beaten by teen gang 'terrorising town' launches support group

Mum Sharon with her daughter
Mum Sharon with her daughter -Credit:Supplied

The mum of an East Kilbride schoolgirl who was left needing hospital attention following an unprovoked attack has launched a support group for other parents who've been targeted by the gang.

Tanith Bavaird was just 15 years old when she was surrounded and subjected to a sickening attack by a dozen teens and pre-teens after leaving a recording session at Universal Connections near the Dollan Baths to enjoy a break in the sun.

The music-loving teen was left with bloody missing chunks of hair, ripped clothes and bruises on her face and body after the gang of around 12 repeatedly hit her head off a kerb as they kicked, punched and stamped on the defenceless teen before trying to set her hair on fire.

The ordeal only ended when a teenage boy told the girls to stop or they would 'kill her'.

READ MORE: East Kilbride schoolgirl beaten and hair 'set alight' by gang terrorising town

READ MORE: Nicholas Rossi compared to 'Jimmy Savile' following making of new documentary on the US fugitive who fled to Glasgow

Yesterday we reported how Tanith's heartbroken mum Sharon Bavaird, 48, has bravely spoken out despite the leader of the youth gang threatening to stab her at her work.

Now she has launched a support group for parents affected by the increasing youth violence in the town.

Speaking to Glasgow Live, the mum said she believes more needs to be done to stop the group which have targeted 'hundreds' of kids in the area and left many terrified to leave their homes.

Sharon said: "Since I went public and posted on social media about the attack on my daughter we've had constant threats, especially from the ringleader who has told my daughter she is going to stab me and threatened me in the middle of my work.

"The gang are being allowed to terrorise the entire town because no matter how many times the police pick them up they just end up at the Scottish Children's Reporter and nothing happens. I set up the group last week and since then hundreds of parents have joined and shared their stories of their daughters and sons being targeted.

"Children are terrified to leave their houses and parents don't want to let them out because they can appear from anywhere. There is no reason behind the attacks, they just pick on random girls in the town, at bus stops, in school and anywhere they can get them.

"These girls know they are untouchable. They use the free bus pass which means they can be anywhere at anytime."

Join Glasgow Live's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

Sharon has spoken to one parent whose daughter, who had previously been attacked multiple times, was not able to go to her national 5 drama exam because the gang messaged her to say they were 'waiting' outside. In another recent incident, Glasgow Live is aware of a video of the girls launching a brutal attack on a schoolgirl in the town which they filmed and put on social media.

She continued: "Every parent I've spoken to feels ignored, the police admit there is nothing they can do, social work, schools and politicians don't seem interested in helping. This has been ongoing for years and we are so angry that nothing is being done while the violence involved in the attacks increases.

"Something has got to change and that is only going to happen if we all come together - that's why I launched the group. Children should feel safe to go about their lives but instead intelligent girls like my daughter are being tormented and feel they can't even go to schools or do their exams because of these girls.

"It's wasting these girls lives."

Tanith had to undergo counselling following the attack which came as she was dealing with the death of her gran from cancer just weeks before. The mum says the bubbly straight-A student's confidence was ruined by the attack and the continued threats and abuse.

Sharon believes is something is not done soon, a child may end up being killed or seriously hurt by the gang. She wants to see the authorities come together to allow youngsters to live in peace.

She added: "Parents need police, social services, schools and every other organisation to come together and end this. I'm not sure if legislation needs changed but everyday action isn't taken another child will be hurt and the violence is only getting worse.

"An entire town is being held hostage by a handful of girls.

"I've spoken to a parent who lives near the leader of the gang and they say she is brought home everyday by the police and is immediately back out as soon as they leave. I know that some parents have reported some of the girls involved are now carrying baseball bats and hammers.

"Not just that, the kids who are involved in these incidents clearly need help. Is it going to take someone's daughter being killed for police and the authorities to act?"

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Officers are aware of recent incidents involving groups of youths within East Kilbride committing assaults and recording these acts on mobile phones.

"Four female youths aged between 13 and 15 have been traced and reports have been submitted to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration."

Sign up to our daily Glasgow Live newsletter here to receive news and features direct to your inbox