Getir rider knifed by men in balaclavas in Primrose Hill

Stabbed courier’s fears over compensation or sick pay after being told to rest

Thursday, 26th May — By Harry Taylor

Raymond Johnson 3

Raymond Johnson in Regent’s Park Road

A COURIER for the burgeoning shopping delivery bike firm Getir said he was left fearing for his life after he was stabbed by men in balaclavas while on a job in Primrose Hill.

Raymond Johnson was knifed after being approached by two men in Regent’s Park Road.

He is now unable to work and is scathing about Getir’s lack of communication since the incident.

Mr Johnson had finished a delivery at a house at around 9.40pm on May 18 when he was asked to give the men his moped.

When he refused, they stabbed him in the middle of his hand.

They escaped on e-bikes, one of them had a Stealth B-52 bomber that can reach 80km/h (50mph).

Mr Johnson fled on his scooter back to the firm’s depot in Randolph Street, where he was met by police who took him to University College London Hospitals.

Mr Johnson’s bandaged hand

The 48-year-old is now recovering at home in Chingford.

He said: “I tried to drive off, and the one guy just stabbed me in the hand.

“I pushed the bike that had stopped in front of me out of the way and left. I was fearing for my life, I didn’t know whether they were following me as those e-bikes can go pretty quickly.”

He added: “There was blood pouring out everywhere – it was all over my clothes. I ran red lights, I told police this but I was just so scared and just wanted to get back to the depot. I was shocked. I thought ‘this is it’, and what can you do apart from to try and escape? I wondered whether to just try and run as they would be able to catch me up on the bike, but luckily they didn’t try.”

Doctors told him he was lucky to escape with five stitches, leaving in the early hours of Wednesday morning. But he needs to rest the wound – meaning he can’t get back on his moped any time soon.

Getir is one of the few courier firms that says it considers workers employ­ees and pays a full-time wage. This is unlike other competitors, such as Deliveroo and taxi firms including Uber which also hire staff on a casual basis.

On the night of the incident, Getir’s health and safety officer went to the hospital to meet Mr Johnson, and phoned him the next morning. However, the promise of a follow-up call did not happen, and when Mr Johnson tried to call a Londonwide official for the firm, he did not get an answer.

The rider combines his courier work with shifts as a driver in the entertainment industry.

He said: “Before, I was doing five days a week, sometimes with Getir, to get some money, but I’ve been told by doctors to rest for three to four months. I can’t lift any heavy items because the risk is that something ends up happening to my hand, damaging my tendons and then it will be even more serious.

“I can’t find out from Getir what money I’m going to get. Compensation, or sick pay, or anything like that. I need to bring in some money, and if I can’t work I’m worried I won’t be able to. The doctor said I was lucky not to lose full use of my hand. I’m fortunate they missed all of the tendons.”

His injury after the attack

Getir, which promises “groceries in minutes”, first appeared in London’s streets last year and is known for its eyecatching purple and yellow electronic mopeds.

It has added exposure after agreeing a training kit sponsorship deal with Spurs. The Turkish-based firm initially hired workers on self-employed status, but now are classified as workers and get some benefits including statutory pay, sick leave and holiday.

Mr Johnson has been working for them for four months. In response, a Getir spokeswoman said that employees have full-time contracts and full pay is calculated on the amount of hours in the contract.

Mr Johnson said that he thinks that the bikes should have some sort of “panic button” to alert staff that a rider is in need of assistance.

He added that in his induction, Getir managers did not mention any compensation but believes they have insurance for riders.

“All they say is ‘we will look after you, we care about you’,” he said. “But they don’t care about you at all.

“I believe I’ve been treated badly by them. They should at least provide me with some support. I’m now very nervous going out at night, it’s still very recent. The police were brilliant and took statements at the scene and stayed with me, I’m really grateful.”

The Metropolitan Police said it attended an incident in Randolph Street.

A spokeswoman for Getir said: “Following the attack on one of our couriers on May 18 we have been working with the police to identify those responsible. We have also been in regular contact with our courier, both when he was in hospital and since he returned home, to support him following this incident.

“As an employee of Getir he continues to be fully paid as he recovers from his injuries. We will continue to ensure that he receives the necessary support and assistance as he makes a full recovery.”

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