Glasgow Park Inn attack victim tells of struggle to recover one year on

25 June 2021, 10:30 | Updated: 25 June 2021, 10:43

By Alan Zycinski

An asylum seeker stabbed 5 times at the Park Inn in Glasgow a year ago doesn't know if he'll every recover mentally - and physically.

Six people were hurt by Badreddin Abadlla Adam who was then shot dead by police.

19 year old Mo still has night terrors, and is worried about more tests on his damaged liver.

Armed police stormed the Park Inn hotel on West George street on the afternoon of 26th June 2020 - where teenager Mo was slumped bleeding in a corridor after being attacked.

He said: "I was in my room sleeping, but I set my phone to wake me up for breakfast, lunch and dinner, because if you miss a meal, you need to wait for the next one. There was no special treatment, noone was going to save food for you.

"So my phone rang, I opened my eyes and decided to go outside to have lunch. As soon as I opened my door, I took two steps outside and someone stabbed me in the back. I turned to see who it was - that's when he stabbed me in the tummy."

The attacker, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, 28, was shot dead by officers on the scene. Mo was carried out by paramedics and that's when he realised how serious the incident was.

"When I went downstairs, I noticed I was stabbed badly - another victim lying in the stairs, I was crying by then and he was like 'Oh, no!' They got us outside, we were bleeding - he was also hurt, and he was like 'take him to the hospital' and by the time they got me in the ambulance and got me to the hospital it was really really tough on me by then."

The four other victims were aged 17, 20, 38, 53 - while Police Officer David Whyte, 42 was critically injured.

He was fighting for his life in hospital but recovered in the weeks following the attack.

Adam was from Sudan and had been staying in the hotel which was being used as temporary accommodation for asylum seekers during the coronavirus pandemic. It's claimed he was in an increasingly fragile mental state and frequently complained about his accommodation.

Activists had protested about the conditions in the weeks before the attack and have continued to do so since.

Pinar Aksu from Refugees for Justice claims little has changed for many of the asylum seekers who were living in the Park Inn at the time of the attack.

She said: "Unfortunately we still have people who are housed in hotels across the city. At the moment Mears says they'll be moved at the end of July, but that raises questions about why they couldn't have been moved previously. We do still have more than 200 people in hotels, so nothing has really changed.

"The sorrow and the pain of everybody is still there. People are very concerned, in terms of, still trying to figure out what happened last year and why it happened. Still not understanding why they were moved into hotel accommodation.

The Home Office has defended the use of hotels to accommodate asylum seekers.

A spokesperson said: "We take the welfare of those in our care extremely seriously. All asylum seekers in hotels are provided with full board accommodation with three meals a day served as well as all other essentials.

"In the aftermath of the Glasgow incident, our accommodation provider offered trauma response services and had regular conversations with residents to ensure mental health needs were addressed.

"Our New Plan for Immigration will reform the broken asylum system; allowing us to welcome people through safe and legal routes, while preventing abuse and pressure on the system and the criminality associated with it."

Mears Group said in a statement: "With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, due to cessation of all positive and negative decisions on claims, the number of service users receiving asylum accommodation and support increased.

"With the effective shut-down of the housing and lettings market, combined with the need to best support our service users, particularly with health care, it was necessary to use good quality hotels for contingency accommodation.

"This approach was in line with the rest of the UK and with Glasgow City Council’s support for the homeless. We were able to move many service users from hotels last year when COVID-19 restrictions were eased, prioritising those who had been in hotels for the longest time.

"There was however a continuing need for hotel contingency accommodation over the Winter and through the lockdown in the early months of this year. Circumstances are now changing, with the number of service users no longer rising, mainly due to the agreement between Glasgow City Council and the Home Office not to route new service users to Glasgow.

"We are also seeing the housing and lettings market open up and we are now able to procure additional dispersed accommodation in the community. We have 170 service users currently in hotels in Glasgow and we are arranging moves out every day, with the aim of all service users being out of hotels by the end of July.”

Nicola Sturgeon said at the time: "First and foremost, my thoughts are with all those people who have been caught up in this terrible incident, particularly the six injured people taken to hospital for treatment, as well as residents and staff at the hotel.

"I also want to thank all of those police officers whose quick and decisive actions contained the incident - one of whom was among those taken to hospital - as well as the work of the other emergency services."

Additional reporting by Bekki Clark and Phil McDonald