Taxi drivers have been asked to help trace a cabbie who subjected two women to a horrific attack because he thought they were trying to dodge a fare.
Police issued a public appeal for witnesses to the attack, which happened on Friday, 27 November opposite the Good Companions pub in Dyke Road, Hove last month.
But this week an appeal was sent directly to taxi drivers asking if they might be able to help, and revealing more details about the assault on the two women, a 33-year-old from Brighton and a 29-year-old from Croydon.
PC Gavin Crute wrote: “The suspect in this incident is a taxi driver who picked up the women in central Brighton and drove them to Dyke Road to use the cashpoint machine in order to pay their fare.
“The two women, who were somewhat drunk, walked off from the cashpoint having apparently forgotten to pay their fare. What followed was an unprovoked and entirely unjustifiable assault on both women in which both were violently knocked to the floor and one was kicked in the face resulting in both sustaining physical injuries some of which were serious.
“Both victims had teeth knocked out and/or chipped and facial injuries, one sustained a broken kneecap, severe abdominal bruising and other minor injuries.
“Both victims have suffered severe emotional trauma and require ongoing medical and psychological treatment due to the vicious nature of the assault.
“We are obviously keen to identify the driver responsible as I am sure you and the taxi operators would also be as this could have serious consequences for the reputations of taxi drivers in general as well as the firms that employ them.”
The suspect is described as a white man, about 5ft 8in tall, of medium build and short, possibly cropped graying hair which may be receding. He spoke with a local southern accent and was driving a taxi in standard colours of white/aqua(blue) which was a four door saloon possibly a Skoda.
Witnesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting reference 0013 of 27/11. Any information received will be treated in strictest confidence.
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