UPDATED: Driver who deliberately ran over men 'like a scene from Grand Theft Auto' is jailed for 20 years
A DRIVER who ruined a Bolton father’s life by ploughing into him as he crossed the street — in an attack that has been described as “like a scene from Grand Theft Auto” — has been jailed for 20 years.
Michael Ward, from Bolton, was left with “catastrophic head injuries” when Aqab Hussain smashed into him and his three friends in Manchester city centre in the early hours of August 21, 2012.
Hussain was today jailed after he was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder.
At the time of the crash the 21-year-old, of Gateshead Close, Rusholme, was banned from driving for dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of a crash.
CCTV footage showed the moment the men were hit as Hussain mowed them down after a minor spat involving Mr Ward outside a club, close to Albert Square, Manchester.
Hussain drove a Vauxhall Corsa out of Clarence Street and down the wrong way of a city centre one-way system to hit Mr Ward, Paul Hulme, Martin Harris and Thomas Mallanphy.
Sentencing Hussain, Judge Robert Atherton refused to accept a plea that he wanted to apologise to Mr Ward, of Crompton Lodge Caravan Park, Hall Lane, and his three friends.
Judge Atherton said he could form little or no opinion of Hussain’s remorse because of his refusal to even admit he was driving the vehicle on that night.
The judge said: “It’s a sad day for you and your family but it’s an even sadder day for Mr Ward and his wife and family.
“I have read a victim impact from Mr Ward’s wife and that’s a very moving statement that makes it clear the devastating effect not only on Mr Ward but on his wife and three children and how he won’t be able to play any part in their future lives.
“He can’t look after himself and will be dependant on care for the rest of his life.”
Mr Ward and Mr Hulme were carried on the car’s bonnet along John Dalton Street.
Manchester Crown Court heard Mr Ward will need an operation to insert a metal plate to replace part of his skull to help protect his brain — but is not expected to get better.
Mr Hulme had also suffered severe leg injuries and had had to have plates fitted to enable him to walk again, the court was told.
During Hussain’s trial, eye witness Corey Gordon, aged 26, told how 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: “I can only describe it as unreal — a computer game like Grand Theft Auto — as he swerved off line to hit the men.”
The court heard that, following the crash, Hussain initially fled to Pakistan but was arrested seven weeks later by police on his return to Heathrow Airport.
Read about Michael Ward's wife's reaction to the attack here.
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