Friday 4th January 2008
A DRIVING instructor and his student were driven off the road in a terrifying racial attack in Hanging Heaton.
Paul Berry, 41, of Earlsheaton, was on a lesson when two carloads of Asian youths forced them to pull over.
One of the cars stopped and the gang got out and went to the boot with Mr Berry fearing they were going for baseball bats.
Mr Berry managed to steer the student towards some people outside a working mens club and the youths sped off. As they fled one of the youths repeatedly rang Mr Berrys mobile number, which was on top of his car, and taunted him with abuse branding him: White scum.
Mr Berry later spotted the car in the driveway of a house in Hanging Heaton and gave police the address, registration details and the mobile phone number.
Three days later he rang police to ask whether his attackers had been arrested only to be told: The officer leading the investigation is on leave for two weeks.
If you want to complain go and see the duty officer at Dewsbury Police Station.
Mr Berry, a married father of two, said he was furious the police had apparently given the case to an officer who was on leave.
They tried to kill us by driving us off the road and could have beaten us half to death for all the police know, he said.
The police have the address, the car registration and the phone number and he should have been arrested straightaway.
Now he just thinks hes got away with it. Where is the justice in that?
Mr Berry, an instructor for eight years, was on a lesson with a young white male student in Kirkgate, Hanging Heaton, just after 8pm on Friday.
The Peugeot 307 stopped at the junction of Kirkgate and High Street, next to the junior school, waiting to turn right into High Street. As they waited a distinctive BMW convertible shot past them from behind on the wrong side of the road, cutting them up.
As they pulled out a Nissan Micra came up behind and the two cars slowed and pulled away again, sandwiching the terrified student. Mr Berry said the BMW then shot away at sped and stopped dead.
The youths inside, probably five of them, leapt out and went as if to get baseball bats from the boot. The other car behind was blasting its horn and flashing its lights.
Mr Berry said: I couldnt be sure what they were doing and I wasnt going to stop to find out.
We managed to keep the car going and I saw some blokes smoking outside Hanging Heaton WMC and I kept hitting the horn to attract their attention and told the lad to drive over to the club.
As we drove up the blokes came over and the youths got back into the car.
As Mr Berry spoke to the men at the club his mobile rang twice but he cut off both calls.
The same number rang a third time and he answered. I knew it was them, he said.
They must have got my number from the top of the car. They were just laughing and taunting me, calling me white scum.
I asked him why he did it and he said: Youre white scum so why does it matter? There was just silence when I said I know where you live and Ive got your address and car registration. His number came up on my phone. Thats not very bright is it?
I remembered we had driven past a large group of Asians earlier and I knew roughly which house it was.
I went back later and the BMW was there so I was able to give the police the full details. I cant believe the police havent investigated.
A police spokesman said the incident had been reported and logged but added: The complaint appears not have informed the police that there was a racial element.
Clearly if this man feels the incident to be racially motivated it will be treated as such.
Police have a number of lines of enquiry that they are actively investigating in relation to this case.
The officer who is dealing with the case is not on annual leave and we have spoken to Mr Berry and he is now satisfied.
Friday 21st March 2008
A DRIVING instructor who was subjected to a race attack while out on a lesson is still waiting for justice to be done five months on.
Paul Berry, 41, of Earlsheaton, was branded white scum by two carloads of Asian youths who tried to drive him off the road.
Despite giving the police the address of the main culprit, his mobile phone number and his car registration details no one has yet been charged.
Last month Mr Berry contacted The Press again when he was getting no response from the police.
It was only after we spoke to the police that officers came back to Mr Berry and asked him to do a DVD identification almost five months later.
Mr Berry said: I gave them all the evidence they could possibly need. What more do they want?
I gave them a statement and so did the student who was in the car with me.
Then to ask me to identify this youth after five months is ridiculous.
Mr Berry was on a lesson with a young white male student in Hanging Heaton, just after 8pm on Friday October 12 last year.
The Peugeot 307 stopped at the junction of Kirkgate and High Street, next to the junior school, waiting to turn right into High Street.
As they waited a distinctive BMW convertible shot past them from behind on the wrong side of the road, cutting them up.
As they pulled out a Nissan Micra came up behind and the two cars slowed and pulled away again, sandwiching the terrified student.
The BMW shot away at speed and stopped and the youths inside, as many as five, made as if they were going to get baseball bats from the boot.
The student managed to drive off to the nearby Hanging Heaton Working Mens Club where some people were outside smoking.
The two cars then drove off. But one of the youths phoned Mr Berry on his mobile sending his own mobile number and taunted him calling him white scum.
They got Mr Berrys number from the sign on top of his car.
Mr Berry had seen the same car earlier and reported the address to police.
The Press published a story at the time and Mr Berry contacted us again last month because he was getting no response from the police.
I kept ringing them and they said they couldnt help because they didnt have a crime number, said Mr Berry.
It was a week after The Press contacted them that they came back to me and asked me to do this identification.
I didnt get a good look at this lad and, in any case, it is five months ago and memories fade and peoples appearances change. The police are just clutching at straws, he said. I think they will just get away with it.
A police spokesman said an arrest had been made and inquiries were continuing.
Friday 2nd May 2008
A DRIVING instructor who was subjected to a race attack while out on a lesson has been told the case has been dropped.
Paul Berry, 41, of Earlsheaton, gave police the address, mobile phone number and registration number of the main culprit.
But now, more than six months later, the case has been rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service due to lack of evidence.
Mr Berry was left furious at how police had handled the inquiry and said: I had done the investigation for them and given them all his details but that still wasnt enough.
I dont know what it takes to get justice.
Back in October, The Press told how Mr Berry was out with a student when a car load of Asian youths threatened him.
His Peugeot 307 was overtaken by a distinctive BMW convertible in Hanging Heaton and then sandwiched by the BMW and a Nissan Micra which came up behind.
The BMW then sped away and stopped and the youths inside, as many as five, made as if they were going to get baseball bats from the boot.
Mr Berry told his student to drive to the nearby Hanging Heaton WMC and the two cars made off.
One of the youths, seeing Mr Berrys phone number advertised on top of his car, rang him, calling him white scum.
Mr Berry had seen the same car earlier and reported the address to police.
The youth had also sent his own mobile number by making the abusive call.
It was March before police asked Mr Berry to do a DVD identification.
Mr Berry said: The police have spoken to this lad and asked him why he phoned me and he said he rang because I had stopped in the middle of the road.
If that was the case why didnt he just drive round me? He wasnt going to admit what happened but the police dont want to take it any further.
The policewoman I spoke to said dont hesitate to report it if it happens again but whats the point?
I have no faith in the police any more.
A police spokesman said: Two men, a 23yearold and a 21yearold, were arrested in connection with this incident, however the complainant was unable to pick out a suspect on a police computer identification system.
A file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service on April 9 and they subsequently decided there was insufficient evidence to take this case further.
An officer spoke to the complainant later the same day to explain the situation to him.