Asian Christian ‘stabbed as revenge for Lee Rigby’, then ignored by police

An Asian teenager beaten and stabbed by a gang of youths in a racist attack claims he has been ignored by police.

Sonoo Yaqoob said he was assaulted by more than 15 people in Glasgow’s Queen’s Park on June 24, 2013 while he was walking with two friends. His assailants abused, assaulted and stabbed him before running when they heard police sirens, Mr Yaqoob said.

He told a media conference on Wednesday that his attackers told him he was targeted as revenge for the murder of soldier Lee Rigby. He was racially abused throughout the assault, he said.

Mr Yaqoob said police took him to hospital for treatment but then left and made no attempt to contact him. Mr Yaqoob and his father attended their local police station to find out what enquiries police were making. However, seven months later, he alleges that police have failed to act sufficiently on the crime.

Mr Yaqoob said no messages have been left on his phone and no letters or calling cards left at his address. He said: “To date the police have not been in touch with me regarding this violent racial attack on me. I am angry and upset that these people have ruined my life, leaving me scared and fearing for my life each time I step out in the community.

“But even worse is that the police have done nothing to help me, their claims to help victims of race crime as far as I am concerned are just sound bites, they let me and my family down.”

Mr Yaqoob is being represented by lawyer Aamer Anwar who has written to Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and three assistant chief constables to complain formally about the case.

In the complaint Mr Anwar alleges that there was a “failure to recognise the distress” caused to Mr Yaqoob, the police response was “disproportionate to the circumstances” and that officers have not kept Mr Yaqoob “sufficiently updated”.

Mr Anwar said: “I find it difficult to understand why such a horrific attack has not been taken seriously. A ‘zero-tolerance’ approach was replaced with a ‘zero response’ which compounded the trauma felt by my client allowing his racist attackers to escape arrest. Police Scotland have at best failed in their duty of care to the victim, who has been left seriously traumatised.”

Police Scotland said it had attempted to contact Mr Yaqoob and was unaware of his concerns about their investigation until they received a letter of complaint on Wednesday afternoon.

A spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that it has, this afternoon, received a complaint from Mr Anwar on behalf of his client. As per official procedure, it would be inappropriate for us to comment in detail until the complaint has been dealt with.

“Several attempts have been made to contact Mr Yaqoob since the incident and we were unaware of his concerns regarding this investigation until the complaint was received this afternoon. The complaint will of course be investigated thoroughly; however, should Mr Yaqoob or Mr Anwar wish to make contact with us we would be happy to discuss their concerns independent of the complaints procedure.

“Hate crime is a force priority and we do not accept the inference that it is not taken seriously.”

Mr Yaqoob said he was lucky his injuries were superficial but added that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He told journalists that he and his family were Christians and had fled persecution in Pakistan and settled in Scotland where they thought they would be safe.

STV, 29 January 2014