6:01pm Thursday 17th May 2012
A Bradford cabbie who was subjected to what a judge branded a “brutal and thuggish” attack by a passenger said he no longer takes fares at night because he is scared of further assaults.
Grandfather-of-three Khalid Salim, who was attacked with a metal bar, has spoken of the ordeal which left him with scars to his legs and needing pain-relief medication, after his attacker was jailed for 22 months on Monday.
Robert Reynolds, 22, of Perseverance Street, Wyke, had pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Salim and causing him actual bodily harm at about 5am on October 29 last year.
Mr Salim, 59, had been taking Reynolds and three other men from Great Horton to Holme Wood when they asked to stop at a garage for cigarettes, Bradford Crown Court was told.
Reynolds returned to the cab, punched Mr Salim in the face and grabbed the ignition keys. When he got out to get them back he was attacked with the two-feet long bar and his vehicle was damaged.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus yesterday, Mr Salim said the pain was so bad after the attack he could barely stand.
He was off work for eight weeks and said there were times he could not sleep with the pain.
Mr Salim, who said he was also a victim of a robbery in 2008, said: “I can’t work at night because of the fear. I was frightened it would happen again.
“He was so cruel to attack me. He’s a young lad. I said, ‘please don’t, I am your father’s age’.”
He said Reynolds ran off after he shouted for help.
Mr Salim said he was grateful to the police for their support and the ambulance staff who helped him on the night of the attack. He welcomed the sentence handed down to Reynolds.
“I think justice has been done,” he said. “He attacked me for no reason. I was very polite with them, I took them safely and charged the fare.
“He had no reason to attack me. I was just doing my job and I was very polite.”
Shabir Munir, of the Bradford Hackney Carriage Drivers and Owners Association, said he hoped the jailing of Reynolds would act as a warning to others.
He said: “We appreciate what the police have done, being vigilant in following the case through.
“Other people will realise that taxi drivers do have police protection and they are not going to get away with it.”
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