A mother is calling for more to be done about tackling hate crime after her transgender daughter was attacked by a group of teenagers.

Veronica Hunnisett, 15, was out walking around her hometown of Great Harwood on Sunday evening (April 24) when she was set upon by eight teens.

One member of the group started to hit her to the floor, while others were using transgender slurs against the teenager, her mother says.

Rowan Taylor, mother-of-four, said that her daughter was punched and kicked to the head and came home visibly upset.

Rowan said that the attack could have gone much worse, likening the incident to the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster.

Lancashire Telegraph: Veronica Hunnisett after the attack. Photo credit: Rowan TaylorVeronica Hunnisett after the attack. Photo credit: Rowan Taylor

She said: “It could quite easily have been different, and I could have had a child who was dead.

“It happens and we have seen it in the news such as the tragic case of Sophie Lancaster.

“Punches and kicks can kill and sadly, that was the case with Sophie. All I am thinking is thank goodness that didn’t happen to us.”

After Veronica had returned home, Rowan went out herself to find the group with Veronica and the teens said that they weren’t scared of her mum being there and hit Veronica again, with more transgender slurs being thrown at the 15-year-old.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: "We were called at 6.02pm on April 24 to reports of an assault in Town Hall Street, Great Harwood.

Lancashire Telegraph: Police were called to Town Hall Street, Great Harwood. Photo credit: Google Street ViewPolice were called to Town Hall Street, Great Harwood. Photo credit: Google Street View

“It was reported that a teenage girl had been assaulted by a group of boys and they had made offensive comments towards her.

“No arrests have been made at this stage. Enquiries are very much ongoing.

“Although this is being treated as an isolated incident reassurance patrols have been increased in the area as a precaution.

“Lancashire Police do not tolerate hate of any kind and we are taking this incident extremely seriously.”

Veronica started identifying as a female 18 months ago. She had previously been diagnosed with ADHD, ASD and bipolar.

After enrolling at a school, Veronica started to struggle with her mental health so was moved to a specialist facility before returning to mainstream education where her mother said she is now thriving.

Veronica is now awaiting treatment at a gender dysphoria clinic in Leeds, but the waitlist is very long.

Now, Veronica’s mother is calling on the Government to do more to tackle hate crime, especially for attacks upon the transgender community.

Rowan added: “This is a real issue, and it needs to be taken more seriously.

“My child has every right to walk down the street and be safe no matter how she identifies.

“It shouldn’t warrant being attacked.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Rowan likened the attack on her daughter to the tragic murder of Sophie LancasterRowan likened the attack on her daughter to the tragic murder of Sophie Lancaster

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Hate crime is utterly unacceptable and individuals who commit these crimes should rightly face the full force of the law.

“We expect the police to take these crimes extremely seriously and work with the CPS to ensure perpetrators are prosecuted and victims receive justice.

“We have also committed to publishing a new Hate Crime Strategy shortly which will continue to ensure that victims are at the heart of our work.”

Anybody with information or CCTV, mobile phone or dashcam footage which could assist the investigation are asked to call police on 101, quoting log 1257 of April 24, 2022.