VIDEO : Gang launch fireworks and bricks at Zimbabwean refugee in UK

November 3, 2017
| Report Focus News

The thugs launched a horrific attack on the former Zimbabwean MP who fled to Scotland after being left for dead by his political rivals and called him a ‘black ba****d’.

Racist thugs who pelted a refugee with bricks and lit fireworks at his home in Glasgow have been spared jail .

Able Miller was subjected to the horrifying attack on Guy Fawkes night last year.

Jack Gemmell, 18, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched the attack at 62-year-old Able’s home in Springburn in the early hours of November 6.

The incident was captured on CCTV cameras which Able had installed after being the victim of attacks on 17 occasions.

The Zimbabwean MP fled his home country in 2002 after being left for dead by his political rivals and had hoped to find a safe haven in Scotland.

When the thugs began attacking his home last year Able went outside to confront them, fearing for the safety of his daughter who has Down’s Syndrome and was inside the property.

He told Glasgow Live: “When I saw the flash of the first firework, I thought they were going to burn us out.

“I wasn’t going to let that happen. I went out to try and stop them.

“My daughter has Down’s Syndrome and she ran frightened to hide under the bed.

“I’d do anything to protect my children.

“They called me ‘black ba****d’. They said ‘I know this ba****d, he used to drive a bus’.

The CCTV shows that even after Able went outside, the thugs continued to attack him.

Last month at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Gemmell, from Springburn, Glasgow and the other teenager pled guilty to racially assaulting Able on November 6 at Berryburn Place to his injury.

Procurator fiscal depute Lindsay Madden told the court that when Able checked the CCTV he saw Gemmell, the other teenager and three others including a female.

She said: “On walking on the path towards both accused standing within the group of persons, Mr Miller heard the comment ‘you black b******’, however could not tell who had made it.

“The female was in possession of the box of fireworks and both accused along with others in the group, took turns to light and throw them in the direction of Mr Miller.

“Several of the lit fireworks struck Mr Miller to the body.

“Mr Miller uses a walking stick to assist his mobility.

“Throughout the incident, Mr Miller heard comments such as ‘We know you, you are the black b***** bus driver’ and ‘black b******’ being made.

“He was left with pain to his side and knee and suffered a cut to the top of his foot.”

Gemmell and the 17-year-old returned for sentencing today and both escaped jail with sheriff Daniel Scullion giving both men 18-month community payback orders instead.

He told them: “It’s quite clear that this incident has had a very considerable effect on Mr Miller.

“Each of you along with others unknown, took part in an appalling attack on Mr Miller.

“By your pleas you accept that your conduct in so doing was racially aggressive.”

Both will be supervised for the duration of the order, they must carry out 210 hours of unpaid work and wear a tag for three months and stay at home during certain times of the day.

Gemmell has to stay at home between 9pm and 6am midweek and between 7pm and 6am at the weekends.

The sheriff added: “Be assured, they are a direct alternative to custody.”

Defence lawyer Marisa Borland said Gemmell has been doing volunteer work and has written a letter to Mr Miller showing “genuine remorse” which he hopes will be passed to his victim.

In Zimbabwe Able was a wealthy engineer and stood for election to his country’s parliament in 2000.

However, after the election was contested by Able’s political opponents he was attacked and left for dead.

He now cannot return to his homeland as his assets have been seized, his life is in danger and he would be unable to build a life there.

Able said: “I was badly beaten. I was burned. I was shot nine times.

“I never thought anyone would actually want to kill me.

“Everybody thought I would die.

“When I began recovering I was already in Britain. My brother-in-law had arranged to get me here.”

When he arrived in Glasgow, Able wanted to help his new community just like he had helped those around him in Zimbabwe.

He was instrumental in setting up a play area at the Red Road flats were he was originally housed.

He was also a founder of the African Caribbean Network in the city.

But Able feels racist hostility has got to the point where he will have to leave.

Able said: “When I first arrived here, people were welcoming.

“Then as more and more refugees arrived I began feeling a hostility.

“That was what the African Carribbean Network was supposed to help with. There are 57 African nations all with different cultures.

“But since 2012 things have gotten really bad. I have been attacked 17 times. It may be time to go.”

After Able’s horrific attack was highlighted, many in Glasgow were outraged and a fundraiser organised by Positive Action in Housing raised more than £3000.