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London taxi driver who died with Covid-19 was spat at by fare-dodger, friend reveals

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A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said

A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said

A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said

A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said.

Trevor Belle (61) died in the Royal London Hospital on April 18, having tested positive for Covid-19.

Several weeks earlier the east Londoner had been spat at by a passenger who owed him £9, according to his friend Damian Briggs.

After the incident in Stratford on March 22 Mr Belle began to feel unwell with virus symptoms.

Mr Briggs explained: "A few days later he got rushed into hospital, he spent three weeks battling it and unfortunately didn't make it to the end."

The new grandfather died three days after his 61st birthday, and his friend added: "It's devastating that he's caught it doing his job."

After his death Mr Belle's blood was donated to research into the effects of Covid-19 in people from BAME communities, Mr Briggs said, as he paid tribute to his "diehard Arsenal supporter" friend.

He described them as "not blood brothers, but we are brothers".

He told the PA news agency: "He loves the game, he loves Arsenal, he loves supporting to see kids do really well in the game.

"He did a lot of volunteering stuff."

A GoFundMe page for Mr Belle has now raised £6,000 - double its target - to cover the costs of a funeral and "celebration of his life".

Mr Briggs added: "Best way I can describe Trev is just a jovial person who, as serious as life is, would always find a way to get a smile on your face so you can take your mind off the problem.

"It was very rare you saw something that bothered this guy.

"No matter how bad it was, he always found a way to have a laugh and chuckle."

Belfast Telegraph