'Why would nobody help me?' Father punched in the face 18 times by racist thugs in front of 200 witnesses on a packed tram... and not one person intervened
- Prakash Patel, 56, attacked while on a tram in Manchester with his daughter
- Man Utd fan was on his way home from a match at Old Trafford
- Suffered two black eyes and concussion in sustained assault
- Hundreds of passengers on packed carriage but none stepped in, he said
- CCTV shows passengers leaning in 'for better view', his daughter says
A father who was racially abused and beaten on a tram packed with hundreds of passengers has told how not a single person came to his aid as he was attacked.
Manchester United fan Prakash Patel, 56, was on his way home from a match at Old Trafford with his daughter Devyani when a group of men boarded the tram and began hurling racist slurs at him. When he pleaded with them to 'behave', they began repeatedly punching Mr Patel in the face and head.
The bank officer, from New Moston, who was left with two black eyes and concussion after the shock attack, said fellow passengers on board the tram at Trafford Bar just 'stood and watched'.
Attack: Prakash Patel, 56, was racially abused then punched in the face repeatedly while on a tram in Manchester with his daughter
Distressed: Mr Patel said the tram was packed with hundreds of passengers, yet not one stepped in to come to his aid
He has spoken out about his ordeal in January in the hope that a witness may come forward to help police convict his attackers.
'We had been to the Fulham match at Old Trafford. We go as often as we can because we are big fans, we've been going for 25 years and never had any trouble,' said Mr Patel, who has lived in Manchester for 31 years.
'There were more than 200 people just in our carriage, it was so packed you couldn't move.
'About six men or seven men came on to the tram and started making indecent
'Myself and my daughter felt distressed and very uncomfortable about this so I said "just behave".
'I said it again "please behave" and that's when it started,' he said.
'How can this happen?': Mr Patel said only his 21-year-old daughter came to his aid while he was being attacked on the tram
'There was one in front of me and one behind me both punching me in my face and on the back of the head.
'They were hitting me in the face, the eyes, the head.
'After two punches I think I blacked out but the carriage was so full that I was unconscious while standing up. Nobody did anything or said anything, they all just stood and watched us.
'I managed to lean against the side of the tram while they got out.
'They told me "If you want finish this get off the tram" before they got off calmly at the G-MEX stop,' said the football fan, who added that his daughter was the only one who came to his aid during the attack.
'She managed to push one of the men off and then the other stopped. It seemed like the other passengers just wanted the drama,' he said.
'We stayed on until Piccadilly and then got a taxi home. My face was bruised and swollen and we went to hospital. I had concussion and I needed a CT scan and was off work for two weeks.'
Mr Patel said his wife Vasanti, a teacher, also had to take time off work to look after him.
'Now I can't walk outside on my own and I will never go on public transport again and I will only ever watch Manchester United in a box, never again will I sit in the stands. I lost 3kg in the two weeks after the attack.'
He said he would consider leaving Britain in the wake of the attack were it not for the fact that his family is so well established here.
'Nobody did anything or said anything, they all just stood and watched us'
Victim Prakash Patel
'Perhaps if it had been two groups of men fighting each other I could understand but this was two young men attacking an older man and his young daughter. How can this happen?
'At first I wouldn't talk to anyone about what had happened but now I want people to know - and I want witnesses to come forward so justice can be done,' Mr Patel said.
His daughter Devyani, 21, said her father was no longer the 'happy, confident' dad he used to be since the savage attack.
'I was screaming at them to stop,' said the estate agent, who lives at home with her parents.
'There was a passenger between my dad and the attacker in front of him and I was between my dad and the man behind him so they were punching him over people's heads.
'Nobody did anything or said anything. I was trying to pull them off my dad and shouting at them to get off.
'The one facing me was just staring at me with these cold, evil eyes. Nobody else intervened. I am tiny and I'm a woman, I don't understand why nobody did anything. I was just being his daughter,' she said.
Distressed: Devyani Patel, 21, said her father is no longer the 'happy' and 'confident' man he was before the savage attack
'Afterwards, when the men got off, one man came up, said he was a witness and gave me his number.
'But where was he when it was all happening? That's what hurts the most - that nobody did anything, nobody said anything. I have lost my faith in society.
'He has always been a happy, jolly, confident father to me and this has changed that'
Prakash Patel's daughter Devyani
'Later at the police station, they showed us the CCTV footage. You can't see the men but you can see all those passengers watching, it sent a shiver down my spine when I saw that. Some of them were actually jumping up to get a better view. It was like they thought we were actors on Coronation Street or something.
'Since the assault I have had a lot of support on Facebook and Twitter, that has restored my faith a little bit - they are calling my dad a hero which he is.
'No daughter should ever have to see their father being hit like that. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. He has always been a happy, jolly confident father to me and this has changed that.
The attack happened at Trafford Bar after Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round clash with Fulham on January 26.
The first offender is described as white, in his mid to late 20s, about 5ft 8in tall, with brown eyes and tanned skin. He was wearing a blue woollen hat with a snowflake design.
The second man was also white, in his mid to late 20s and said to be of a heavy build. He was wearing a light coloured hat. Both men had local accents.
Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward in an effort to identify the offenders.
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9168 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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