British police apologize to Sikh cabbie for being racially attacked by woman

London (IANS): Police in a British city have formally apologized and admitted they “got it wrong” after a woman who tore off the turban of a Sikh taxi driver and set it on fire was let off with a caution, media reported.

Taxi driver Singh, whose first name has not been mentioned in the report, was attacked by a group of five drunken women who got into his cab in the Bishopsworth area of Bristol and demanded a free ride to Swindon in Wiltshire, 40 miles away, Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

When the driver asked them to get out, they refused and began racially abusing him.

The women physically assaulted him and ripped the turban from his head and set it alight.

The woman admitted the race hate crime to police but the investigating detective decided to give her a caution instead of pursuing a prosecution, the report said.

The driver was not satisfied and turned to an action group to help him.

Following an eight-month campaign, the caution was overturned and the woman was taken to court where she said sorry to her victim and was fined 200 pounds (about $300).

Avon and Somerset constabulary have now formally apologised to the taxi driver and said the woman should have been charged.

Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly, area commander for Bristol, said: “I’m always disappointed to hear that we haven’t got things quite right.”

“We made two arrests on the evening. Because one of the girls admitted it, the detective decided a caution was enough, but that decision was wrong.”

“The detective on the case did get it wrong on this occasion. It should have gone through the courts. It has gone further than a caution now.”

Singh said the incident in September last year had left him scared to leave the house, but he still needed to work to support his family.