Hull brothers jailed for terrifying attack on Carlton Cars taxi driver
THE victim of a savage attack has revealed he lost his taxi business following an assault.
Thomas Atkins, 45, suffered a fractured cheek bone and other facial injuries at the hands of two brothers after their father falsely accused him of assault.
Fisherman Andy Welburn, 47, had drunkenly fallen over in the taxi office in Anlaby Road, badly cutting his face.
He allowed his family to believe the boss of Carlton Cars was responsible.
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Mr Welburn's sons Lee and Robert repeatedly punched Mr Atkins in the face despite the fact he had actually come to their father's aid moments earlier.
Mr Atkins, of Bransholme, said: "I thought I was going to die.
"It just seemed to me they wanted a fight. It didn't seem like they were ever going to stop."
Mr Atkins claims the fallout from the assault led to his business going under.
He said: "I was going to the taxi office less and less.
"My drivers also started to leave and, eventually, I lost my business.
"I had Carlton Cars for six or seven years and had built it up nicely.
"I had about 14 drivers and we were holding our own."
He still vividly recalls the night of the attack.
"This couple came in to order a taxi before the woman decided to go and get a takeaway," said Mr Atkins.
"Two young lads came in for a taxi and when I sorted one the older guy started to get abusive. When the taxi came for the lads the man got up but fell and injured himself.
"I picked him up and tried to clean him up as he was bleeding.
"The woman came back and then made a phone call and a few minutes later two lads came in and attacked me, my daughter, another member of staff and a customer.
"One of them grabbed the mop I was holding and stuck it into me.
"They repeatedly punched me, which went on for about ten minutes.
"My daughter tried to step in and they assaulted her.
"The police said they were boasting about it on Facebook the next day."
Now the Welburn brothers have been jailed, Mr Atkins is trying to rebuild his life.
He said: "I am trying to piece my life back together.
"Now the lads have been sentenced I can start to look forward and maybe set up a new business.
"I am slowly getting my life back and it is a case of moving forward".
Hull Crown Court heard how Mr Atkins was attacked at 12.30am on June 4 last year.
Mr Atkins' daughter Nicola tried to help her father but was also assaulted.
Taxi driver Andrew Walker pulled up in his cab and also tried to assist but he too was punched. A customer was also assaulted.
In his victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Walker said: "They behaved like a bunch of animals. People would have felt intimidated in their presence."
During the assault Andy Welburn shouted at Mr Atkins "you are dead".
The victim was taken to hospital following the attack.
Both brothers, Lee, 27, of Hereford Street, west Hull, and Robert, 29, of North Road, west Hull, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault. They were both jailed for eight months.
Their father did not appear in court as his ship has broken down in Denmark. He will be sentenced shortly for threatening behaviour.
The brothers' solicitor Jo Golding told the court they wished to apologise to their victims.
She said: "Their fault was the lack of understanding of the true situation and they behaved in a way that was reprehensible."