Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Delayed justice for a Sikh whose turban was ripped off and burnt

The taxi driver had his turban ripped from him and burnt in front of him. Photo: ITV News

Avon and Somerset Police have admitted they were wrong to issue just a caution to a woman who tore off a Sikh taxi driver's turban and burned it in front of him.

The victim has received an apology from the force and an assurance that their officers will strive to improve their understanding of race hate crime.

As well as having his turban set alight, the driver was verbally and physically abused and his vehicle attacked by five women picked up from the Bishopsworth area of Bristol, asking to go to Swindon. They had no means of paying but refused to leave the car.

That was on September 29 last year. When police were called, the victim says officers told him to move on.

The following day the driver went to the police but, unable to receive an update on the case, contacted race-hate campaigners SARI for help.

It wasn't until March that the driver discovered his attacker had received a caution.

The case was then pursued by the victim's community and taken before high-ranking police officers who agreed to investigate further.

Last week, the woman appeared in court where she admitted the offence, was fined, ordered to pay compensation and publicly apologised to her victim.

The victim, who did not want to be revealed, told our reporter Richard Payne of his fear that he could be attacked at any time Credit: ITV News

Today police were apologising, too, for an inspector's decision to issue a caution for a race-hate crime.

Campaigners have called for greater understanding of race-hate crimes among the police, especially with the number of verbal and physical assaults on the rise.

Police insist anti race-hate messages are being reinforced across Avon and Somerset and urge all victims to always come forward.

This victim says his life and those of his family have been shattered and only hopes his fight for justice will prevent others having to suffer as he has.

You can watch our Bristol reporter Richard Payne's report below: