Belfast Telegraph

Taxi driver badly hurt in vicious Co Tyrone attack

Assault: The injured driver
Assault: The injured driver

By Eimear McGovern

A taxi driver has been left with horrific injuries after he was attacked while picking up a fare.

An 18-year-old man has been arrested by police investigating the assault the early hours of Monday.

The driver had picked up a passenger in Abercorn Square in Strabane and drove him to Glebe Gardens near Sion Mills at around 1am, where he assaulted him and damaged his car.

The injured man was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.

Patrick McLaughlin of the Streetcars taxi firm said the driver "was viciously attacked... and the horrifying outcome of this attack is plain for all to see".

Mr McLaughlin posted photos of the unnamed driver on Streetcars' Facebook page, where he wrote: "The nature of attacks such as this and others have no place in our society. We work in a difficult industry at the best of times, and the financial gain is petty in return.

"Attacks such as this are no different to attacks on medical staff or emergency service providers. We work alone and too many times we are exposed to certain threats that remain between the driver and the fare.

"I personally have decided to put up a cash reward to anyone with information on this brutal attack. Although this happened at 1.15am, it took place in a built-up area and I'm certain it was witnessed by someone in the park concerned.

"Any information submitted to me will be treated with anonymity. I wish our driver a swift recovery and to relay to him that the thoughts of everyone in our firm, and indeed most people in our town, are with him and his family at this difficult time."

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

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