Home Taxi company Norwich taxi driver recounts horrific racist attack

Norwich taxi driver recounts horrific racist attack

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A taxi driver who fled war-torn Iraq to settle in Norwich has spoken of his horror after being seriously injured in a brutal alleged racial attack.

The father of two, Sahd Suliman, was between two jobs around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night when he was approached by a stranger on Magdalen Street in the city, after visiting a permit without a permit for a mid-term snack.


ABC driver Sahd Suliman with his wife Gulstan
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The 37-year-old said he spotted a blond man abusing store staff and advised the shopkeeper to call the police before the situation escalated.

But when the man saw him giving a friendly sign to the shopkeeper, he turned his attention to Sahd.

He said: “I saw he was trying to create trouble and screaming, so I asked the owner to call the police before something bad happened – then it was on me. come.


Taxi driver Sahd Suliman was brutally attacked in Norwich

Taxi driver Sahd Suliman was brutally attacked in Norwich
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

“He came straight up to me and I asked him to leave me alone, I told him I had to get to my next job and that I couldn’t be late. I turned around and put my hand on my doorknob and the next thing I remember was I was on the floor. “

Emergency services were involved, including paramedics and police, while he was also helped by passers-by and workers from the unlicensed and a nearby restaurant.


Injuries sustained by Sahd Suliman during an unprovoked attack

Injuries sustained by Sahd Suliman during an unprovoked attack
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Sahd, who sought refuge in England with his wife and children in 2008, believes the assault was racist.

He said: “I think he saw me waving to the traders and thought ‘they are foreigners, he must be foreign too’. And then he said to me ‘you are a foreigner, I am English, you can’t do anything ‘.


Taxi driver Sahd Suliman shows gash to head after assault in Norwich

Taxi driver Sahd Suliman shows gash to head after assault in Norwich
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

“I can’t stop thinking ‘why me?’ ‘What did I do?'”

Mr Suliman said since moving to Norwich his experiences have been positive and it was the first time he had been physically assaulted but was now worried about returning to work.

The attack left him bloodied and bruised and with deep scars on his head.


ABC driver Sahd Suliman, victim of unprovoked attack in Norwich

ABC driver Sahd Suliman, victim of unprovoked attack in Norwich
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

He added: “All I told him was I had to go and leave myself alone, I didn’t say anything else and he tried to kill me.”

His wife, Gulstan, 33, said the incident was particularly hard on his two children, daughter Barez, 17, and son Mohammed, 12.

She said: “Our children were heartbroken by it. We taught them to believe that people are all the same, but it is such a horrible experience.

“We’re over 10 years old and we’ve never seen anything like it before – he never said anything offensive and he was assaulted – it’s heartbreaking.

“All of our neighbors know us and we’ve never had a problem – all we have for people is love and respect – he just doesn’t deserve that.”

This is not the first time that ABC taxis, for which the Sahd company operates, have seen their drivers targeted and have set up safety training for their drivers.

Chris Harvey, spokesperson for ABC, said: “We do not tolerate abuse of our drivers, racially or otherwise.

“When something like this happens, we will always try to help our drivers in any way we can and help the authorities bring those responsible to justice.”

A man in his 20s has been arrested in the wake of the attack and is still under investigation – but no charges have been laid so far.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk Constabulary said: “Officers were called to report that a man had been verbally abusive on Magdalen Street around 8:30 pm on Saturday July 17th.

“During the incident, another man, in his thirties, was assaulted and injured in the head which required medical treatment.

“A man in his 20s has been arrested for assault and disturbing public order. He has since been released on bail by the police while the police continue their investigation.”


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