Gang run man over in racial attack at garage

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The Independent Online
THREE white men stabbed and then repeatedly drove over a black man because he was with a white girlfriend, police said last night.

The attack at a petrol station in Ilford, east London, was being treated as attempted murder by Scotland Yard.

The victim, Kenneth Harris, 31, had pulled into the service station where his girlfriend, Lynne Woodward, who is in her early twenties, got out to buy drinks.

The gang taunted her for being with a black man and then attacked Mr Harris as he sat in the car on the forecourt. He was dragged from his car, punched and kicked, and stabbed in the back with what may have been a screwdriver. The wound punctured a lung. The three men then took their victim's Ford Cortina and drove backwards and forwards over him several times. 'This was an absolutely horrific attack - totally unprovoked. The abuse directed at the girlfriend had racial undertones and we are treating the attack as racial,' one police officer said.

The victim also suffered a fractured skull and leg injuries. He was in a 'stable' condition in hospital.

Ms Woodward was bruised and shocked but did not require hospital treatment. She said afterwards: 'I felt so defenceless. I tried to help him, but they jabbed at me with the screwdriver and threatened me if I didn't keep away.' Both are from the Goodmayes area of Ilford.

The gang smashed into the station kiosk as they drove off in the Cortina. Their own vehicle, a Vauxhall Astra van, followed behind.

Two men were later arrested.