Revealed: The 'racist' female bus driver who is facing the sack after she was caught telling black wheelchair-bound passenger 'I don't understand foreign languages'

  • Blonde Karen Forshaw, 49, was filmed berating Royal Mail worker Ian Barrington
  • The 44-year-old passenger had asked for help with a disabled ramp after a row
  • Ms Forshaw said she had backache and she didn't understand foreign languages 
  • Mr Barrington moved from Trinidad to the UK and only speaks English  
  • Firstbus is now investigating and sources claim the driver has been suspended

Karen Forshaw (above), sparked outrage after mobile phone footage emerged, showing her arguing with Ian Barrington who uses a wheelchair

Karen Forshaw (above), sparked outrage after mobile phone footage emerged, showing her arguing with Ian Barrington who uses a wheelchair

A bus driver who was filmed telling a disabled black passenger that she did not understand foreign languages is off work and facing the sack. 

The driver, identified by MailOnline as Karen Forshaw, sparked outrage after mobile phone footage emerged, showing her arguing with Ian Barrington who uses a wheelchair. 

Mr Barrington, 44, who is originally from Trinidad and only speaks English, claimed the bust-up began after she refused to help lower a ramp for him, saying that she had a bad back.

It is understood that Ms Forshaw, 49, has worked for First Eastern Counties who operate Firstbus for several years. She was not at work today.

A former colleague, who used to work with Ms Forshaw, claimed she had been suspended.

He told MailOnline: 'Karen has been suspended pending investigations and she has now gone sick with stress.'

Ms Forshaw declined to comment when she was approached by a MailOnline reporter at her semi-detached cottage in East Winch, Norfolk. 

Speaking through her kitchen window, she said, ‘Sorry, no thanks’ when asked if she was driver involved in the incident. 

She is believed to live with her partner Jason Dolman who also works for the bus operator.

Royal Mail worker Ian Barrington, who lives in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, (pictured) had asked for help with a disabled ramp on a First Bus on November 4. The video shows Ian sitting in the wheelchair bay on the bus shouting to the bus driver: 'Come and put me off because I'm speaking my mind, come and put me off!'

Royal Mail worker Ian Barrington, who lives in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, (pictured) had asked for help with a disabled ramp on a First Bus on November 4. The video shows Ian sitting in the wheelchair bay on the bus shouting to the bus driver: 'Come and put me off because I'm speaking my mind, come and put me off!'

It is understood that Ms Forshaw, 49, has worked for First Eastern Counties for several years. She was not at work today

It is understood that Ms Forshaw, 49, has worked for First Eastern Counties for several years. She was not at work today

The company would not confirm her identity, but said that an investigation was underway into her alleged behaviour. 

A First Eastern Counties spokesperson said today: ‘We have not made any further comment at this time until the investigation is concluded.’ 

Mr Barrington said his wife Katar Zyna, 34, had to operate the ramp herself so he could get on the bus, taking them from their home village of Thorney, Cambridgeshire, to nearby Peterborough, on November 4. 

The wheelchair user who moved to the UK seven years ago after he was shot and paralysed during a robbery, claimed that the driver became angry and threatened to throw him off the bus as he and Katar discussed her lack of help.

The video shows the Royal Mail worker sitting in the wheelchair bay on the bus shouting to the bus driver: 'Come and put me off because I'm speaking my mind, come and put me off!' 

Ms Forshaw then shouted back: 'You should be ashamed of yourself!' Mr Barrington responded: 'I should be ashamed of myself?' 

She replied: 'Yeah.' He then told her: 'You're documented, yeah? Just remember that.' 

The footage then featured her shouting back: 'I don't understand foreign languages, I understand English!' 

Mr Barrington said: 'You don't understand foreign languages, I'm a foreigner now. OK so I'm a foreigner now, you don't understand foreign languages, only English language you understand, so am I not speaking English?'

The driver shouts: 'I don't understand foreign languages, I understand English!' Mr Barrington's only language is English. He moved to the UK seven years ago after he was shot and paralysed during a robbery

The driver shouts: 'I don't understand foreign languages, I understand English!' Mr Barrington's only language is English. He moved to the UK seven years ago after he was shot and paralysed during a robbery

Mr Barrington (pictured above) said he was hospitalised after the incident, claiming the driver banged the door to the driving compartment into his legs. First Bus said it was investigating

Mr Barrington (pictured above) said he was hospitalised after the incident, claiming the driver banged the door to the driving compartment into his legs. First Bus said it was investigating

Ms Forshaw declined to comment when she was approached by a MailOnline reporter at her semi-detached cottage in East Winch, Norfolk

Ms Forshaw declined to comment when she was approached by a MailOnline reporter at her semi-detached cottage in East Winch, Norfolk

The driver snapped back: 'Are you going to shut up or get off?'

The video then jumped to Mr Barrington pointing a camera at the driver as he appeared to gesture to her to lower the ramp for him to get off the bus. 

The driver then opened the door and asked someone else to lower the ramp, saying: 'Could you come and open this ramp for me darling, thank you.' 

A passenger then tried to help but Ms Forshaw sitting in her seat corrected the passenger for doing it wrong saying: 'No, no, down the side sweetheart. Just lift that ramp.' 

She pointed with a mobile phone in her hand, then responded to his question as to why she could not do it, saying: 'No I can't, no I've told you I've got back ache.' 

The video sparked outrage after it was posted on social media. 

Tracy Kelly commented: 'This woman needs instant sacking she was so out of line. Bad back or not, get your lazy a** out that seat, stand up, and get respect for that young man!' 

Andrena Holmes wrote: 'Sorry but from one that has a bad back as she puts it, you would not be able to bend over that way. Just a lazy ass and need to be sacked.' 

Mr Barrington wrote on Facebook: 'First Bus need to screen and train their employees before allowing them to represent their company. 

The 44-year-old and his wife, Katar Zyna, 34, (pictured) said the bus driver refused to operate the ramp to let him on and his wife had to do the job. He added that the driver became angry and threatened to throw him off the bus as he and Katar discussed the lack of help during the journey

The 44-year-old and his wife, Katar Zyna, 34, (pictured) said the bus driver refused to operate the ramp to let him on and his wife had to do the job. He added that the driver became angry and threatened to throw him off the bus as he and Katar discussed the lack of help during the journey

'As a disabled person, life can be really challenging. We struggle with mobility, we struggle with loss of independence, transportation, accessibility issue, employment, communication and social relationships, getting married and self-esteem.

'On top of that we are discriminated and disliked by people for no reason at all. 

'Conclusion, in this day and age there are still racist people out there that find it so hard, and are so disgusted, even to help a disabled person of a different race. 

'I don't see any other explanation for this driver's outrageous behaviour.'

Mr Barrington said he had to go to hospital after the incident, saying the driver banged the door to the driving compartment into his legs. 

Chris Speed, the head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: 'We are taking this allegation very seriously as it is certainly not the kind of service we would expect to be provided by one of our driving team'

Chris Speed, the head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: 'We are taking this allegation very seriously as it is certainly not the kind of service we would expect to be provided by one of our driving team'

He said: 'I have no feelings of my legs, so when she rammed the door into my legs I wasn't aware of the Injury until later that night, I had to call out an ambulance to take me to hospital.’ 

He also claimed it was not the first time that the driver had discriminated against him. 

Chris Speed, the head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: 'We are taking this allegation very seriously as it is certainly not the kind of service we would expect to be provided by one of our driving team. 

'I will be investigating the matter and will correspond with the gentleman concerned when the process is concluded.' 

'Racist' bus driver who told black passenger 'I don't understand foreign languages' faces sack

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