Taxi driver battered outside Wigan North Western fears return to work

A taxi driver was badly injured in an unprovoked attack just moments after picking up a passenger in Wigan town centre.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Paul Mallon has not been able to return to work since the violent assault at the beginning of December and admits he feels “apprehensive” about getting behind the wheel.

The grandfather works for Bluestar Taxis and collected the man from the firm’s office on Wallgate at around 6.15am on Sunday, December 5.

He drove onto the front of Wigan North Western railway station to turn the private hire vehicle around when the man sitting behind him suddenly hit the back of his head.

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The attack happened outside Wigan North Western

Mr Mallon, who is in his 70s and has worked as a taxi driver for 40 years, said: “There was no argument, no confrontation, nothing. I was just turning around on the station and the next thing I felt something hit the back of my head.

“I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t have a clue.

“ I put the brakes on right away and he got out of the back of the cab.”

Mr Mallon also got out of the car to find out what was happening and the man assaulted him, before running away.

He was knocked to the ground and broke his collarbone, burst his nose, and suffered a black eye and bruising to his neck and chest.

He managed to drive home to Hawkley Hall to his shocked wife Sandra.

She said: “He was pouring with blood. He said he had been beaten up. I got straight on the phone to the police.”

Mr Mallon spent several hours at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department and was referred to a fracture clinic at Wrightington Hospital, where it was confirmed he had broken his collarbone.

He has been recovering at home since and has another hospital appointment in late January, but he does hope to eventually return to work.

He said: “I am a lot better than I was. I was in a bad way when it happened. I was like that for a couple of weeks, but as the days and weeks go on, you do get yourself back together again.

“Fortunately I have a very good wife who looks after me. She helps me in the shower and everything. I don’t know what I would do without her.

“I am feeling apprehensive about going back to work. To say otherwise would be telling lies. It’s always in the back of your mind once it happens.

“It’s the first time it has happened in all the years I have been taxi driving. It makes you wonder if it’s worth doing. At my age I have gone over my time anyway, but it keeps me busy and gives me something to do.”

The couple have no idea why the attack happened and say no attempt was made by the passenger to steal from Mr Mallon.

Mrs Mallon said: “I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The lad must have been in a bad mood for some reason. You don’t do that to a taxi driver who is trying to get you home safely for no reason.”

The attack was reported to the police on the day it happened, but Mrs Mallon says it took eight days for an officer to get back to them.

It was captured on CCTV cameras in the town centre, though they have been told the footage is of poor quality.

The couple hope anyone with information about what happened or who can identify the attacker will contact the police, so he can be brought to justice.

The man was described as being around 6ft tall, in his early to mid-20s and very slim. He had “sharp, pointy” features and very short, cropped hair.

Anyone who can help police with their investigation is asked to call them on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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