Assaulted cabbie speaks of ordeal

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A Leyland driver who was viciously attacked in a row over a fare has spoken about how the ordeal has left him worried about going back to work at night.

Former delivery driver Roger Williams, 58, who has been working for Leyland-based firm Avacab for six months, was forced to desperately fight to remain conscious as he was repeatedly punched in the head by his attacker.

He had been called to pick a man up near the Pleasant Retreat in Lostock Hall and the passenger appeared from behind the pub carrying a takeaway and asked to be taken to the Farington area.

Mr Williams, a father-of-one, said of the incident: “As I was turning down Stanifield Lane he turned the radio up full and I turned it back down and told him to stop messing about.

“He asked my to pull down Derby Street by Farington Social Club.”

By this time the fare was £7.20, but the man only had £5 on him.

“I was going to let it go to be honest,” said Mr Williams. “Then he said, ‘Take me to Wade Hall.’

“I said I couldn’t because the fare was already £7.20 and it would have been more. He said again, ‘Take me to Wade Hall.’

“I said I couldn’t again and he basically lost it.

He started throwing punches at me and I tried to defend myself but I couldn’t.

“That went on for a couple of minutes and it was okay because the car was quite confined so I could restrict him hitting me.”

But then the man grabbed Mr Williams’ phone and jumped out. Mr Williams went after him, which he admits was a mistake.

“That was my downfall, I think. I got out of the car to try and get my phone back and he just beat me up then. “He wouldn’t stop hitting me then, he just went on and continued hitting me,” he said.

“To be honest I was very concerned, I couldn’t take much more, he just kept hitting me in the face and head.

“If he had kept hitting me, I would have lost consciousness.”

In fact, the attack only stopped when a worried passer-by ran over and offered the attacker £20 to stop hitting Mr Williams.

The man then grabbed Mr Williams’ wallet and stole cash from inside before running off.

The attack left the driver with two black eyes, a split lip and various other cuts.

He said: “I haven’t gone back to work, I can’t even drive yet.

“I have told my boss that I’m hoping to go back on the school run next week. But I’m not too sure about going back on nights. It has put me off.”

Paul Tattersall, managing director of Avacab, said such attacks on cabbies are now ‘very rare’, but added: “He is quite shaken up by it.

“He has been to the hospital and the doctors.”