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Current Edition: 658 | Friday 31st October 2014

Current Edition: 658 | Fri 31st Oct 14

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Terrorised by thugs in cars

Friday 4th January 2008

A DRIVING instructor and his student were driven off the road in a terrifying racial attack in Hanging Heaton.

Paul Berry, 41, of Earlsheaton, was on a lesson when two carloads of Asian youths forced them to pull over.

One of the cars stopped and the gang got out and went to the boot with Mr Berry fearing they were going for baseball bats.

Mr Berry managed to steer the student towards some people outside a working mens club and the youths sped off. As they fled one of the youths repeatedly rang Mr Berrys mobile number, which was on top of his car, and taunted him with abuse branding him: White scum.

Mr Berry later spotted the car in the driveway of a house in Hanging Heaton and gave police the address, registration details and the mobile phone number.

Three days later he rang police to ask whether his attackers had been arrested only to be told: The officer leading the investigation is on leave for two weeks.

If you want to complain go and see the duty officer at Dewsbury Police Station.

Mr Berry, a married father of two, said he was furious the police had apparently given the case to an officer who was on leave.

They tried to kill us by driving us off the road and could have beaten us half to death for all the police know, he said.

The police have the address, the car registration and the phone number and he should have been arrested straightaway.

Now he just thinks hes got away with it. Where is the justice in that?

Mr Berry, an instructor for eight years, was on a lesson with a young white male student in Kirkgate, Hanging Heaton, just after 8pm on Friday.

The Peugeot 307 stopped at the junction of Kirkgate and High Street, next to the junior school, waiting to turn right into High Street. As they waited a distinctive BMW convertible shot past them from behind on the wrong side of the road, cutting them up.

As they pulled out a Nissan Micra came up behind and the two cars slowed and pulled away again, sandwiching the terrified student. Mr Berry said the BMW then shot away at sped and stopped dead.

The youths inside, probably five of them, leapt out and went as if to get baseball bats from the boot. The other car behind was blasting its horn and flashing its lights.

Mr Berry said: I couldnt be sure what they were doing and I wasnt going to stop to find out.

We managed to keep the car going and I saw some blokes smoking outside Hanging Heaton WMC and I kept hitting the horn to attract their attention and told the lad to drive over to the club.

As we drove up the blokes came over and the youths got back into the car.

As Mr Berry spoke to the men at the club his mobile rang twice but he cut off both calls.

The same number rang a third time and he answered. I knew it was them, he said.

They must have got my number from the top of the car. They were just laughing and taunting me, calling me white scum.

I asked him why he did it and he said: Youre white scum so why does it matter? There was just silence when I said I know where you live and Ive got your address and car registration. His number came up on my phone. Thats not very bright is it?

I remembered we had driven past a large group of Asians earlier and I knew roughly which house it was.

I went back later and the BMW was there so I was able to give the police the full details. I cant believe the police havent investigated.

A police spokesman said the incident had been reported and logged but added: The complaint appears not have informed the police that there was a racial element.

Clearly if this man feels the incident to be racially motivated it will be treated as such.

Police have a number of lines of enquiry that they are actively investigating in relation to this case.

The officer who is dealing with the case is not on annual leave and we have spoken to Mr Berry and he is now satisfied.

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