Cabbies' safety code to alert of danger

MORE than £1,100 has been raised so far for a Weston cabbie who was the victim of a serious assault. Mike Barber, aged 46, was on a night shift

MORE than £1,100 has been raised so far for a Weston cabbie who was the victim of a serious assault.Mike Barber, aged 46, was on a night shift when he was attacked near the junction of Madam Lane and Ebdon Road in Worle.The Woodspring Taxi driver was left needing an eight-hour brain operation at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol after the incident.His injuries, which included a splinter of his skull becoming embedded in his brain, have already had a massive impact on his livelihood as he cannot drive for a least a year. Since the attack, Mike's workmates have rallied round and raised more than £750 so far.They have been joined by drivers from taxi firms ARC and Apple also based in the resort. As the Weston & Somerset Mercury went to press, Apple had raised more than £350.Cabbies in Weston are now being extra vigilant while driving at night following the incident. Apple Taxis' assistant manager Wayne Michaels says all its drivers have a global positioning system in their cars which means operators know where each driver is at all times. He said: "Our drivers are also issued with a secret code which they can punch into their screens if they feel threatened by passengers. "This means that all other taxi drivers are alerted and will converge on the distressed driver to ensure they're safe."Mike Barber has now been moved back to Weston General Hospital where he remains in a stable condition. Police are still appealing for witnesses to the assault, which took place at around 11.20pm on August 3, to come forward. Anyone with information should call Weston CID on 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. * THREE teenagers have been arrested in connection with the attack.Daniel Neath, aged 19, of Sadbury Close, Weston, was arrested on August 8 along with Billy Kay, also aged 19, and a 16-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons.They appeared together at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.Kay, a carpenter, of Blackthorn Gardens, was also charged with two counts of assault in an incident outside The Woodspring Inn on the same evening at around 10.30pm.

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