Three men 'mowed down in street by hit-and-run driver' - court
A HIT-and-run victim was left partially paralysed after he and his friends were mowed down by a driver following a night out at a lap dancing club, a court heard.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court was told how Michael Ward was carried on the bonnet of a Vauxhall Corsa in John Dalton Street, Manchester, as its driver swerved to try to throw him off.
The court was shown CCTV footage of the moment the car hit Mr Ward, who lived at Crompton Lodge caravan site in Bolton and was with three friends, all of whom are from the travelling community.
Aqab Hussain, aged 21, of Gateshead Close, Rusholme, is said to have been the driver of the car.
He denies four counts of attempting to murder Michael Ward, Paul Hulme, Martin Harris and Thomas Mallanphy. He also denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Ward and Mr Hulme.
Ian Metcalfe, prosecuting, told the jury how Mr Ward, who is partially sighted, and his friends had gone to the Silks lap dancing club in Lloyd Street, Manchester, just after midnight on August 21 last year.
Five minutes later a group of five men, including Hussain, Patrick Kerrigan, Anas Ullah, Bilall Tayyab and Sami Hassen also entered the club.
The court heard that there was no trouble in the club, with Hussain’s group consuming a £100 bottle of Vodka.
But after the club closed at 2.15am and both groups of men left, the court heard there was an altercation in which Sami Hassen’s cap was taken and then handed back.
A homeless man, bedding down for the night in Albert Square, then heard the two groups arguing, with Mr Ward’s group of white males appearing to be the aggressors.
Street cleaner Luke Bates, who was working on Princess Street told the court said he saw a group of four men, one of them he described as Asian in a long sleeved grey top, walking past him towards Clarence Street.
He said he saw the same man a minute later, driving a silver Corsa which emerged from a side road, turning the wrong way onto Princess Street, speeding up as it approached the junction with John Dalton Street.
Mr Bates said it made no attempt to avoid the men.
“It did not change course or brake. It just carried on,” he said.
Mr Metcalfe said Mr Mallanphy managed to step back onto the pavement in time and was uninjured, but the other three men were hit by the car.
Mr Harris suffered minor injuries, but Mr Hulme had a broken leg which needed surgery to insert a metal rod and Mr Ward, who was carried several yards on the bonnet before being thrown off, suffered multiple skull fractures, spent 20 days in intensive care after emergency brain surgery and is now paralysed on his right side.
“The prosecution contend that the only sensible interpretation of the manner in which the Corsa was being driven is that the driver, no doubt inflamed by whatever had gone on in Albert Square a few minutes before, intended to kill,” said Mr Metcalfe.
“In other words he was using that vehicle as a lethal weapon.”
The court heard that fragments of windscreen glass matching that from the Corsa were later found in a Toyota Yaris that Hussain had sat in.
He was arrested on October 11 as he arrived back in Manchester on a flight from Pakistan.
The case continues.