Trevor Belle became part of the growing number of COVID-19 casualties in the UK due to the irresponsible actions of his taxi passenger. Belle got into an argument with the passenger when the latter refused to pay the £9 fare. Being spat at by the man could have led to Belle being infected by the novel coronavirus. Within weeks of the attack, Belle succumbed to COVID-19.
The taxi driver from Stratford encountered the reckless passenger on March 22. The two were in the vehicle at West Ham Lane, Stratford when the man and Belle got into an argument. Eventually, the man spat at Belle. After spitting at the elderly man, the attacker said: "I've got the coronavirus and now you've got it, too." The man's intent was clear in his words and actions. He fled the taxi before Belle could react to the attack.
Soon after, Belle approached a police van and reported the incident. He told the police that the attacker was a white man with an Irish accent.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the mother of Belle's three children and his partner for 28 years, Kelly Esqulant, said that the police did not take any action to find and arrest the man.
Following the incident, Belle stopped driving his taxi. Four days later, he started showing symptoms of the viral infection. His condition worsened to the point where he was having difficulty breathing. Belle tested positive and went under treatment at Royal London Hospital's COVID wards. He was put in an induced coma the day after he was admitted to the hospital.
Belle remained in hospital until April 18. Three days after his 61st birthday, which he spent alone, he died in the hospital. His friend, Damian Briggs, created a GoFundMe page with a goal of £3,000 to pay for Belle's funeral and to support his family after his death. Only 20 people were allowed to attend the funeral.
The hospital asked Esqulant if they could take Belle's blood for research. His blood could help contribute to the battle against the virus. Knowing that Belle would be willing to help out in any way possible, his family agreed to donate his blood.