A mother has warned that people waiting hours for taxis in Derry at night is a recipe for disaster after her daughter’s head was pushed through a windscreen at the weekend.
Hannah Fulton (20), from the Waterside, and her friends had tried to intervene to stop an assault at a queue for taxis on Clarendon Street in the early hours of Saturday when the attacker turned on them, her mother Sylvia said.
Hannah and her friends had been meeting up to get taxis after a night out in different venues and had gone across the street briefly when they saw the attack take place. They were later told that the victim had been knocked unconscious after challenging the attacker for queue jumping. Hannah’s mother said the young friends noticed the attacker was continuing to kick and punch the man as he lay on the ground.
“They had gone across the street to stop it and Hannah told him to leave the man alone and to get out of the area, which stopped him kicking the man - they probably saved his life,” Sylvia said.
“He attacked Hannah’s friend in a door way and she pulled him off her. There was a five/six second lull then he grabbed Hannah by the throat and put her through a Mégane window. She doesn’t remember anything after that.”
Sylvia said she was horrified to learn what had happened and to witness her daughter - who has been unwell recently - in a neck brace at Altnagelvin with staff concerned she may have had a fractured skull.
She said her daughter - who was also attacked five years ago in the city centre - has been left with concussion, flashbacks, scratches and is experiencing pressure in the back of her head.
Sylvia said she wanted to see something done about the transport situation in the city centre at night.
“Now that it has come to my door it’s woken me up to it. People have to queue for hours at the end of the night in the city centre for taxis. They are not safe. It’s a recipe for disaster. There should be bus services at night, they could do circular routes. The drivers can be in behind their windows and the bouncers from bars and clubs could go on the buses for some extra money,” she said.
Sylvia also appealed for witnesses to come forward.
“I want him caught,” she said. “It seemed to them he was in a rampage.”
Police said they attended the scene at Lower Clarendon Street following the report of an altercation just after 2.45am.
Sergeant Hughes said: “It is believed that four people sustained injuries, two of whom required medical attention. The two – a man and woman in their 20s – were taken to hospital by colleagues from NI Ambulance Service for treatment to head injuries. It’s reported that the female’s head had been banged against a car windscreen.”
Sgt. Hughes, urging witnesses to phone 101, quoting ref. no. 277 of 03/08/2019, added: “In particular, we have received reports of a man wearing a white jacket/jumper and black jeans. It’s believed that he made off from the scene, heading towards Strand Road.”