VIDEO: 'Hit-and-run' smash was 'like a scene from Grand Theft Auto'
THE moment a car mowed down a group of revellers was like a scene from the computer game Grand Theft Auto, a court heard.
Michael Ward, a traveller from Bolton, and his friends Paul Hulme, Martin Harris and Thomas Mallanphy, were hit by a Vauxhall Corsa in John Dalton Street, Manchester, in the early hours of August 21, 2012.
Eye witness Corey Gordon, aged 26, told Manchester Crown Court he had stopped at a red light in Cross Street at about 2.25am when he saw the car coming the wrong way across the lights at Albert Square, hitting the men, who were crossing the road.
He said: “It was like ten pin bowling where you hit the skittles and they go up in the air. I can only describe it as unreal — a computer game like Grand Theft Auto — as he swerved off line to hit the men. It knocked one of the men at least seven feet into the air.”
Aqab Hussain, aged 21, of Gateshead Close, Rusholme, Manchester, denies four counts of attempting to murder Mr Ward, Mr Hulme, Mr Harris and Mr Mallanphy.
He also denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Ward and Mr Hulme.
Mr Ward lived at Crompton Lodge Caravan site in Bolton, and was with his friends, all of whom are from the travelling community.
The court heard that Mr Ward, who is registered blind, sustained multiple skull fractures, a blood clot on the brain and needs an urgent operation shortly to fit a titanium plate to his skull.
Dr Christine Walton, a consultant at Salford Royal NHS Trust said that as a result of the incident Mr Ward could not sit or stand and needs a hoist to get from his bed to a chair.
He was unable to use his right hand and she said his cognitive functions including speech had been seriously affected and would leave him dependant on others for care for the rest of his life Mr Hulme sustained a broken leg, Mr Harris suffered minor injuries and Mr Mallanphy was uninjured after managing to step back out of the road before the car struck his friends.
Witnesses said the car was travelling between 30 and 40 mph when it hit the group and carried two of the men on the bonnet down John Dalton Street.
Street cleaner Wayne Bird, aged 21, who was working with a colleague at the time, said he heard a loud bang after the car swerved into the men and left them in the road. He added: “The sight was so shocking and I could not believe what had just happened.”
The court heard that the group had been at Silks, a lapdancing club prior to the incident and there is thought to have been a dispute with Hussain, Patrick Kerrigan, Anas Ullah, Bilall Tayyab and Sami Hassen.
Appearing in court, Hassen, was accused of being the driver of the vehicle by Hussain’s barrister Paul O’Brien, a charge he denied.
The jury were yesterday shown a half hour video which detailed the lead up to the incident.
The case continues.