Victim left with fear of blacks awarded pounds 600,000

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The Independent Online
AN ASIAN man who developed a paranoid fear of black people after he was viciously attacked was yesterday awarded nearly pounds 600,000 in damages and told to go and live in a place where there are no blacks.

Mohibur Rahman, 30, was attacked in 1995 by two suspected drug dealers whom he had banned from the King's Cross branch of Burger King in central London where he worked as manager.

Following the assault, he developed post traumatic stress disorder which showed itself in an "intense and wholly irrational dread of Afro-Caribbean people", the court heard.

Awarding Mr Rahman, who is blind in one eye following a bungled hospital operation after the attack, pounds 575,412 in damages, Mr Justice Rougier said he was a "psychiatric cripple" whose life was in ruins.

The judge said he believed there would be a considerable improvement in Mr Rahman's condition if he lived in a less hostile environment. He lives in Battersea, south London.

"I've been painted a picture of a man cowering in his home, afraid to venture forth in fear of meeting black people," he said.

Mr Rahman, he added, should go to an environment "where there are no black people or so few" that they presented a minimal risk of aggravating his phobia.

"Of all the places he should not live, I suggest that south London tops the list. It is a multi-racial city but it is not possible to go for a five-minute walk or enter a couple of shops without seeing people of Afro- Caribbean origin."

He said that while on trips to Bangladesh and Scotland there had been a marked improvement in his condition.

"He owes it to his wife, he owes to the next harmless West Indian he may assault in the street, but most of all he owes it to himself."

The court heard that prior to the attack, in which boiling oil was splashed on his legs and he was kicked and punched, Mr Rahman had been a bright and sociable young man who had been head-hunted for the job.

But now he was unemployable and spent all his time in hisflat in "alternating states of listlessness and terror." He also suffered from a severe depressive disorder which left him suicidal and, at one time, homicidal towards the surgeon who operated on him.

Mr Rahman had sued his employers, the franchise owner Arearose Ltd, for failing to take security measures which could have prevented the attack, and University College London Hospitals NHS Trust for its later treatment of him.

He had frequently complained about trouble in the restaurant, which was a magnet for the area's drug dealers, prostitutes and drunks, but nothing had been done. The company, said the judge, was at fault in failing both to segregate the kitchen area and to install monitoring screens.

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