A man assaulted by four men who attempted to steal his car is hoping to secure compensation for his injuries, despite his attackers never being found and brought to justice.
Father of four Imran Tariq has told how he was driving in Bradford when he stopped to let a white Mercedes pass in November 2016. Seconds later, he says his car doors opened and he was attacked from both sides by the men, who had jumped out of the other car.
Mr Tariq suffered a fractured cheekbone in the attack, needed to have metal plates inserted when operated on in hospital and says the attack has left him suffering headaches.
He says he often has blurred vision in his right eye and he remains constantly worried about the safety of his family, so much so that they have moved home three times since.
The matter was investigated by West Yorkshire Police but Mr Tariq’s attackers were never found. The force has said that all available lines of inquiry have been followed up and the matter has been ‘filed pending further information’.
It is a situation which has left Mr Tariq and his family disappointed.
Legal claim for compensation launched despite no criminal court case
Mr Tariq is now being supported by Leeds-based Hudgell Solicitors, specialists in securing compensation for injuries suffered by innocent victims in such attacks, even when nobody has been prosecuted through the courts.
“The impact on me and my family has been huge,” said 36-year-old.
“I still have flashbacks to this day can’t eat or drink properly, I can’t sleep and my eyesight is terrible. I can’t chew for long and my jaw has slipped forward. As a family we live in fear. We’ve been followed and intimidated since and we’ve moved house three times because we don’t feel safe. “
The family now say the only support they are being afforded is through Hudgell Solicitors, who are submitting a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a Government scheme which provides compensation to those injured as a result of crime.
Shazia Khan, of Hudgell Solicitors, who is representing Mr Tariq, said: “It is obviously of huge disappointment and concern to our client that nobody has been caught for this attack on him.
“It is only right that, despite the lack of any convictions for those responsible, he is compensated for the suffering he has endured.
“Although this legal process may not assist in terms of bringing his attackers to justice, we certainly hope it will bring some sense of justice to his family.”
Family disappointed by police investigation and decision to ‘file investigation’
Mr Tariq says he had been driving his Audi on his way to hospital to see his wife after dropping his children off at his mother-in-law’s when the attack happened on November 29,, 2016.
Despite the attack, he still managed to drive to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he collapsed in front of his wife. He says he woke surrounded by nurses and police in attendance.
Recalling the attack, he said: “The Mercedes came down the road and I had no choice but to let it through. I started to scroll through my music, but the next thing I knew my door had been opened and I felt a blow to my face.
“They tried pulling the keys out of the ignition and I was like a punchbag. I heard a voice and someone screamed. A man and a woman were passing and they were my saviours. They saved my life and came to help me. They didn’t have a phone and I couldn’t do anything because I’d been beaten.
“I managed to drive back to my wife, as getting back to her at the hospital was all I could think about. I collapsed when I got there and the next thing I knew there were nurses and police around me.
“I feel lucky to be alive, but I don’t understand why my attackers haven’t been caught. The police told me that CCTV shows both cars in the road but not the actual attack. I’m shocked and disappointed by that.
“I didn’t know these men and I don’t know why they did this to me. I later saw them on a television programme about riots in Bradford and I told the police, but still nothing has happened.
“When I got home after the operation, I didn’t want to leave the house. For the sake of my children, I had to get myself together but I’d feel like crying. I don’t want my kids to witness anything bad.”
Mr Tariq’s wife, Aisha Shafi, 31, said she will never forget the moment her husband arrived at her hospital bed.
“I screamed and called the police,” she said.
“We feel the police could and should have done more, but they said there was nothing else they could do and that the CCTV doesn’t show enough. I’m so angry and cross.
“My husband’s attackers are walking freely. I could have lost my husband and our four children could have lost their father. It’s giving out a message that what these attackers did is okay. They should be punished, and we feel so let down.
“We contacted Hudgell Solicitors and are grateful for the support they have provided. They have been fantastic and pretty much our only support.”