A TAXI driver who was beaten and “left for dead” at the side of the road in a violent robbery told a court his children didn’t even recognise him when he returned home from hospital.

Father-of-three Nurul Islam, 40, was left with life-threatening injuries after his customer, 19-year-old Jack Powell, launched a drink-fuelled attack.

Ipswich Crown Court heard at around 3.30am on November 7 last year, a resident living in Tower Mill Road, Ipswich, spotted a commotion from his window.

He witnessed what he assumed to be a fight taking place inside a parked Hackney carriage.

He saw a male being dragged from the driver’s side of the taxi and alerted the police.

The driver, Mr Islam, was found by officers face down next to his taxi on a grass verge.

They could see he had a swollen face and cuts to his lip and brow.

After noticing his breathing was shallow, the officers called an ambulance.

Powell was found nearby and immediately confessed to assaulting and robbing Mr Islam, telling officers he became angry at the price quoted for his journey.

READ MORE: Teenager admits carrying out attack which left Colchester taxi driver in a coma

He said: “I’m not going to lie, I kicked the taxi driver and everything”.

Mr Islam had picked Powell up from Colchester High Street before driving to Ipswich.

Officers recovered £200 in cash from Powell, who made further comments to the police en route to the station.

The court heard he said: “The taxi driver asked for £50, I thought I’d given it to him.”

Mr Islam endured a month-long hospital stay as a result of his life-threatening injuries, which included skull and facial bone fractures, as well as traumatic brain injury.

An Addenbrooke's Hospital consultant said the injuries were consistent with repeated blows to the face.

READ MORE: Taxi driver who was attacked returns home to recover as community raises thousands

In a victim impact statement, Mr Islam said he had been the victim of a “cruel and heinous crime”.

“Every morning I wake up and I still cannot comprehend what happened to me,” he said.

“I have to remind myself that I’m safe now.”

He said at the time of the assault “all he could think about” was his wife, his children and the fear of not making it home to them.

He said Powell had “brutally attacked him and left him for dead”.

Mr Islam also shed light on the devastating “emotional and financial burden” suffered by his family while he underwent lifesaving treatment.

“When I returned home my eldest daughter and son did not even recognise me due to the serious injuries and surgeries,” he said.

“How do you think that made me feel after a whole month missing them and crying for them?”

He added: “I will never be able to go back into my occupation, which is something I genuinely enjoyed before I was assaulted.

“My attacker has taken this away from me.

"That night will always be my biggest regret. As a taxi driver I don't like to travel out of town late at night. 

"My intention was this would be my last job before I went home."

In a further statement read to the court, Mr Islam's partner said: "He was innocently working to provide a living for his family, and it ended up with him fighting for his life."

Powell, of Lattice Avenue, Ipswich, admitted robbery and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Jack PowellJack Powell

Jamie Sawyer, mitigating, said his client was of previous good character aside from a youth caution in 2014 for an assault.

He said Powell is “extremely remorseful and very sorry for the hurt and upset he caused”.

He added: “He wants me to put forward he did not in any way set out to commit that offence that night, it was something that arose in this way because he was in drink, and he feels absolutely terrible to have caused this upset and hurt to a man he didn’t know”.

Mr Sawyer said his client is still a young man of “limited maturity”, who had endured a difficult upbringing.

Recorder Graham Huston sentenced Powell to four years and two months in a young offender institution.

Describing the robbery as “vicious and nasty”, he said: “You have left him deeply traumatised and have destroyed his means of making a living and being his family’s breadwinner.

“The amount of suffering you have caused to the victim, his wife and his children, is incomparable.”

In Powell’s favour, Mr Huston highlighted his lack of previous convictions, his young age, his remorse and his difficult upbringing.

But he said Powell had sought “in part” to blame his victim, adding: “The reality is your comprehension of his behaviour was entirely enforced by the alcohol you had consumed.

“As you told officers in the aftermath, this was a straight robbery and assault of a taxi driver because you were angry at the amount of the fare.”


For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our court and crime newsletter here.

Keep up to date with all the latest crime and court news with our dedicated Facebook page.