A British father has been "told to go back to where he came from" after a brain injury at work left him speaking with a Polish accent.

Robert Paling, 37, became exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide while working at a fish factory in Hull in October, 2015. No risk assessment was carried out.

He was just informed to put screens up and work with petrol-powered tools in an enclosed environment while reflooring part of the factory.

He collapsed at home before he was taken to hospital. He was diagnosed with serious brain damage.

The damage affects his speech, he now speaks with an accent similar to a Pole's, and movement, such not being able to turn door handles.

Last week, his employers, Westlands Construction, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety procedures at Hull Magistrates' Court and were fined £16,000 ($20,000).

But Paling said he is yet to receive an apology from the company.

And now he faces a constant barrage of racist abuse from strangers, mistaking him as Polish and demanding that he goes back home.

"It's been very upsetting. Some people have told me to go back to where I come from," said Robert, from Hull, according to a report in the Hull Daily Mail.

Doctors have told him that foreign accent syndrome is a temporary condition but he will probably remain speaking differently for the rest of his life.

He added: "It's been very hard for me. If you asked me, 'Do you want to work, or do you want to go to the pub to watch football?' I'd want to work. I've always loved doing what I did.

"That's the hardest thing. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been out by myself since it happened. But I take the dog for long walks and that's a big part of my therapy. It's been an adjustment for the whole family."

Shortly after the EU referendum, there was a 50% rise in hate crime reports.

A Polish man was beaten to death, allegedly by a large group of teenagers in Harlow, Essex.

One Harlow-based Pole was so convinced of the xenophobic intent of the killing that he helped organise a minute's silence as well as a 'silent march' into the town centre with the Polish community last September.

Eric Hind told IBTimes UK: "What happened to Arek is proof there is a big issue in Harlow, there is discrimination on a regular basis. The way British people behave here is just not acceptable."