Heroic St Albans taxi driver saved stranger’s life

A BRAVE St Albans taxi driver who is credited with saving the life of a man savagely beaten by a group of thugs in the city centre has explained why he put himself at risk to help a complete stranger.

Police are still seeking information and witnesses following the vicious attack on the 28-year-old man who was kicked and punched repeatedly by a group of about seven men.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, had been celebrating Christmas with colleagues at Club Veeda when he left the premises after 2am on Friday, December 21, with a woman.

A group of men aged between 20 and 25 made a derogatory remark about the woman then attacked the man on St Peter’s Street at about 2.30am. The assault left him with broken teeth and head injuries.

After seeing an article about the assault in last week’s Herts Advertiser, taxi driver Abdel Illah Moustaghfir contacted the paper.

He had been at the taxi rank opposite Subway when he saw a fight break out.

Abdel Illah said: “I saw a group of youths punching the one guy and kicking him. I saw him on the floor, and there was quite a few of them.

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“I didn’t think twice, I just ran across the road and got between them to make them stop and calm them down.

“I protected him behind my back. There were so many of them, easily seven or eight of them. I hid him behind me. I was worried they would kill him because there was just one of him.”

Abdel Illah said he offered to take the victim home, but he declined and walked away.

He said he did not know what then happened to the man, as he was called away to transport passengers.

The victim’s sister, who also does not want to be named, said that after the taxi driver’s intervention her brother had walked further along St Peter’s Street, but he was followed by two of his assailants who continued their assault.

When told of the second attack, Abdel Illah said: “It’s a shame that no one else went to help. If someone was beating up my kids, I would like to think someone would help out.”

The victim’s sister said her brother had a miserable Christmas as, aside from continual headaches, he has suffered painful spasms in his back where he was kicked.

She said the man, who works in a fitness centre and lives in Essex, can only “hobble” and was last week rushed back to his local hospital’s A&E department because he was so poorly.

The woman praised the taxi driver for his help, saying: “I think it’s incredible how brave he was.

“We are really, really grateful to him especially when no-one else was going to intervene. My brother could have died if he hadn’t intervened.”

Anyone with information on the assault should contact police on non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.