October 22 2014 Latest news:
Exclusive by Mark Shales, Reporter
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A Polish motorcyclist believes tensions over immigration led a gang of 15 thugs to attack him in a pub car park.
Damian, who is afraid to give his last name or be fully pictured for fear of repercussions, was attacked near the Cross Keys pub, in Crown Street, Dagenham.
The group allegedly shouted xenophobic abuse as they pushed him off his bike, tried to rip his helmet from his head and punched and kicked him on the ground.
“I was really shaken up by everything and couldn’t sleep for days,” Damian, 39, told the Post this week.
“I’m shocked and saddened because I think people believe what certain politicians tell them about immigration being a bad thing. I wish people would realise that most immigrants are very hard workers and contribute a lot to this country. If they all left the UK overnight, a lot of things would simply not get done.”
Damian, a network administrator for Cisco, said he was sat on his Tiggo MP3 motorbike taking a photograph with his phone on the evening of Friday, January 10, when a man swore at him. Confused, he followed the man hoping for an explanation before a large group left the pub and gathered behind him. One man blocked his exit and told the others Damian had run him over. Then the group surrounded him and unleashed their attack.
“People have told me about similar incidents in the past,” he said, “but I couldn’t believe something like this could happen.”
He said a man dressed in a red jacket – the remainder he said were wearing black – seemed to be in control, ordering them to stop after a while.
When the attack abated, Damian – who suffered a cut face but was largely unhurt thanks to his motorcycle gear – rode to Dagenham Police station where an ambulance took him to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
“I’ve never had a bad experience in the nine years I’ve been in England,” he said. “People have always been friendly towards me. I’ve never had cause for complaints about anything, which makes it so sad and shocking.”
A pub spokesman refused to comment.
Call Det Con Nicola Dunn of Barking police on 020 3276 1042 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have information.
Police investigating an allegation of rape closed Barking Park this morning to search for clues.
The borough’s businesses will enjoy a private audience with the women keeping the government’s finances in check this morning.
Major long-term plans for Barking and Dagenham’s transport future were outlined by members at tonight’s Cabinet meeting.
Seven decades after putting his life on the line during the Second World War Arctic Convoy missions, George Samuel Barker has been recognised for his bravery. He talks to reporter Anna Silverman about life at sea and his pride at collecting the medal.