Taxi driver beaten, robbed and left for dead in Wakefield

Taxi driver Muhammad Akram (right) was left for dead by passengers who beat him unconscious and robbed him. He is pictured with Wajid Ali, co-chairman of Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Association and Yasar Ahmen, association treasurer.
Taxi driver Muhammad Akram (right) was left for dead by passengers who beat him unconscious and robbed him. He is pictured with Wajid Ali, co-chairman of Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Association and Yasar Ahmen, association treasurer.

Taxi bosses are calling for greater protection for drivers after one was robbed, beaten unconscious and left for dead.

Father-of-two Muhammad Akram, 41, was brutally set upon by three passengers on a Sunday morning in Wakefield after he tried to protect his takings.

Litton Croft, where Mr Akram was attacked.

Litton Croft, where Mr Akram was attacked.

Wajid Ali, co-chairman of Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Association, says it was not an isolated incident.

He said: “This sort of thing is heavily under reported and nothing gets done, but it can’t be brushed under the carpet.

“Is it a case of someone needing to be killed before something is done?

“Taxi drivers have no support network to go to. We’ve done safeguarding training, but we are more exposed than we would like to be.”

Mr Akram, who works for ABC Cars based on Lower Warrengate, had picked up the passengers on Sunday, June 30, at around 8am and was instructed to drive to Litton Croft in Eastmoor.

On arrival, he was given £5 for a £4 fare and as he went into his tub full of his takings, one passenger in the back seats made a grab for the cash.

He was then repeatedly punched by all three and fell out of his car and spilling money across the road. More than £200 was taken by the attackers.

Taken to hospital, he suffered cuts and bruises and a suspected broken nose.

His wife, Shazela Akram, said she now fears for her husband’s safety.

She said: “He has worked three years as a taxi driver, and when he works on a Friday or Saturday night I do not sleep until he gets home.

“I worked as a nurse for 12 years, and we get aggressive patients, but there is protection there for us. What is there for taxi drivers?

“Taxi drivers need CRB checks, but passengers don’t. They do not know who they are picking up.”