Detectives in Belfast are appealing for witnesses and information after a taxi driver was assaulted in the east of the city in the early hours of this morning, Sunday, 12th February.

Detective Sergeant Young said: “The taxi driver picked up a man in the Heatherbell Street area shortly after 2.50am.  This man is described as approximately 5’10” in height, short dark hair and aged in his early 20s.  He was wearing a grey tracksuit and a grey cap with dark trainers.

“When the man advised the driver that he had no money to pay the fare, the vehicle came to a stop in the Clara Street area. The man then assaulted the taxi driver and stole a substantial amount of money before making off in the direction of the Castlereagh Road.

“Taxi drivers should be able to go about their business in our community without fear of assault. This was a terrifying ordeal, and the driver sustained a number of injuries to his face, throat and neck. 

“He was able to alert people in nearby properties that he was in danger by repeatedly hitting his car horn. Perhaps you heard this commotion but did not realise the implications at the time.

“We would appeal to anyone who was in the area, or who may have captured footage in the relevant areas between 2.50am and 3.00am this morning to get in touch. The number to call is 101, quoting reference 284 of 12/02/23.

“Information can also be provided via the non-emergency reporting form at or you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at .”