Taxi driver broke Hull man's neck with metal bar
A MAN has told how his neck was broken by a taxi driver in a savage attack.
Les Bowes was beaten with a metal bar by the black-cab driver, breaking two bones in his neck and three in his face.
Doctors said he could have been killed or paralysed.
Mr Bowes, 57, said: "I know I have been very lucky. I could have died or been in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
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"The doctors said I was very seriously injured."
The taxi driver, Pishtiwan Hamed, has admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Bowes and is due to be sentenced next month.
Mr Bowes spent two weeks in hospital, undergoing surgery to fit a 4in screw in his neck to hold his bones in place.
He was also fitted with a halo brace for several weeks and underwent traction to move his bones.
Mr Bowes had been out in the city centre with his sister Judith and her husband Tony when they got into a black cab from a rank in Ferensway. He said the driver became confused about where he was going close to Mr Bowes's home off Anlaby Road, west Hull.
"My sister was supposed to be going to Market Weighton after I had been dropped off," said Mr Bowes.
"He didn't know where he was going and kept asking us for directions. We couldn't understand him very well, so my sister decided to get out with me and get her son to pick her up.
"She told him we all wanted to get out because he didn't seem to know where he was going. We got out and, as Tony was about to pay him, the driver got out of the car and hit me across the neck with a metal bar.
"I fell to the ground. I can't remember much after that."
Mr Bowes has been told he will suffer pain and stiffness in his neck for the rest of his life after the attack.
He currently takes 18 painkillers every day, including prescription-only drug Tramadol.
After the attack in April, Mr Bowes spent three months living with his sister as he was unable to look after himself.
Mr Bowes said he has been told Hamed, 31, has been warned to expect a jail term of four years.
He said: "If that is what he gets, he will be out in two years. I have been given a life sentence of pain. The doctors said I was very lucky to even be alive and not be paralysed.
"I hope when he is in jail he suffers, like I will have to for the rest of my life.
"My neck is very stiff and I can't turn it. I often can't get out of bed and when I do I have to do it really slowly."
Mr Bowes said he believes taxi drivers should undergo stricter tests before being licensed by Hull City Council.
"There should be better vetting for taxi drivers before they allowed to have a black cab," he said.
"This man didn't know his way around, he couldn't understand us very well and he had a metal bar in his taxi."
Hamed, of New George Street, west Hull, will be sentenced next month at Hull Crown Court.
Keith Fenner, Hull City Council's licensing manager, said: "Mr Hamed does not currently have a taxi driver licence as it was suspended pending the conclusion of the prosecution.
"We can confirm Mr Hamed has not applied for it to be renewed for the current year."