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Asian taxi driver scarred in race hate attack

Asian taxi driver scarred in race hate attack

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 31 2014

The Daily Mirror, Manchester Evening News, and Rochdale Online report on the charges brought against a man who attacked an Asian taxi driver leaving him permanently scarred.

Javad Iqbal, 48, was assaulted after dropping off a fare in Rochdale in the early hours of Sunday last week. He was stabbed in the face and his car was subsequently damaged during the incident. Iqbal needed medical attention and was administered six stitches on the face as a result of the deep cut.

Ryan Lovell, 23, has been charged with wounding with intent, possessing a bladed article in a public space, criminal damage and causing racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage.

In a video published in the Daily Mirror and Manchester Evening News, Lovell’s victim recounts the incident in which he notes that the offender’s girlfriend was present at the time of the attack.

Iqbal stated that the man and woman got out of the car and went home but subsequently “came back with [a] knife and they straight away attack[ed] my face… banged my head, banged my car, smashed the window, kicking the car.”

Lovell appeared at Bury and Rochdale Magistrates Court on Monday to face charges and has been remanded into custody. He is due to reappear at Minshull Street Crown Court next month.

In an interview with Manchester Evening News, Iqbal’s boss Abrar Hussain, director of No 1 Diamond cars, noted that “This is the second stabbing of taxi drivers in Rochdale in two weeks.

“Sadly, the drivers don’t get enough protection.

“Two weeks ago another driver (at another firm) took a customer from Cheetham Hill to Middleton. He started kicking his car, ran into a house and brought out a knife and stabbed the driver in the face as well.

“I’ve worked in Middleton for the last 16 years. I’ve know[n] taxi drivers [to] be assaulted and I’ve known customers do runners. It happens all the time. It’s one of those things. We don’t even tell the police. We just get on with it.”

Hussain’s remarks shed some light on the low number of Muslim and other victims who report hate crime. The endemic under-reporting of hate incidents has been acknowledged in a Home Office report published last year and in an empirical study conducted by researchers at Leicester University.

Hussain further speculated that the attack on taxi drivers could be linked to vengeful attacks in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal. Indeed, a cab firm introduced a policy to offer white drivers upon request to avoid such hostility but it was reversed earlier this week following a protest by a group of Asian drivers.


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