Taxi driver Majid Rehman 'used cab like bowling ball' to run down rail workers
An angry taxi driver used his black cab "like a bowling ball" to run down a group of men after a dispute with some of them, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.
Majid Rehman, 28, of Grangetown, Cardiff, argued with a group of railway workmen outside the city's central station on 27 March, the jury was told.
The prosecution claim he drove through a red light to run down the six men, and two others also on the pavement.
Mr Rehman admits dangerous driving but denies 16 charges of causing injury.Burns
The court heard Mr Rehman was seen driving "at speed" near the city's Millennium Stadium minutes after a dispute with six railway workers who were all wearing high-visibility clothing.
End Quote Clare Wilks Prosecuting
It was a deliberate manoeuvre at some speed, knocking them down like a bowling ball knocking over pins in an alley”
Two other men who were walking home after attending a health and safety course were also hit, the jury was told.
One of the men was trapped underneath the cab by the still-hot engine and suffered significant burns to his back, legs and arms.
Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said: "One witness described it as like a bowling ball being aimed at a load of bowling pins.
"Six of the men were leaving the train station around 7pm after they had been working for Network Rail.
"They were wearing work wear - high-visiblity orange trousers and tops - and walking away from the train station.
"Along the way some of the group began to argue with Rehman. There was ill-feeling between them.
"Eventually they left the area. But it seems Rehman wouldn't let it be.
"He left the taxi rank and drove after the group of six railway workers - according to one witness even going through a red light."Pavement mounted
The court heard two other men - Mark Underwood and Richard Partridge - were walking home and were in front of the railway workers.
Miss Wilks said: "As they walked away from the railway station, Rehman drove his taxi, and in a rage, mounted the pavement and collided with the group of eight men.
"It was a deliberate manoeuvre at some speed, knocking them down like a bowling ball knocking over pins in an alley.
"Some of the men were more fortunate than others.
End Quote Mark Underwood Witness giving evidence
I could feel I was in pain and it was very hot but I wasn't sure what happened - the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital”
"Mark Underwood was trapped under the taxi and suffered significant burns to his back, legs and arms as he was wedged under the hot engine.
"It was a chaotic scene, emotions were running high, and Rehman was pulled out of his taxi and assaulted."
The court heard Mr Underwood is still receiving treatment following extensive skin grafts to his back.
The taxi was travelling at 14mph when it mounted the curb, Miss Wilks told the court.
Mr Underwood told the court: "I can't remember being hit - I didn't see or hear anything at all.
"I was hit from behind and wedged under the fuel tank and the engine.
"I could feel I was in pain and it was very hot but I wasn't sure what happened.
"The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital."Previous case
Mr Partridge told the court he was "confused" after coming to on the pavement and saw paramedics surrounding his friend.
He said: "I didn't know Mark had been trapped under the taxi."
End Quote Nicholas Jones Defending
The group recognised the taxi driver, who had been a witness against one of them in a previous court case, and there were shouts of abuse from across the road”
He told the court that some of the railway workers pulled the defendant from the taxi.
"They hit him. I don't know how many times or who hit him. The driver ended up sat against the wall at the back of the taxi when police arrived," said Mr Partridge.
The court heard that seven of the injured men were released from hospital later that evening with injuries including fractures, soft tissue damage and severe bruising.
Nicholas Jones, defending, said his client had earlier been threatened and assaulted by some of the railway workers.
He said: "The group recognised the taxi driver, who had been a witness against one of them in a previous court case, and there were shouts of abuse from across the road."
Mr Jones said the group also shouted the threat: "We will kill your brother."
The court heard all six of the railway workers denied any earlier confrontation with Mr Rehman.
One of them, Meshack White, 19, said he still had glass in his head after being hit by the cab's windscreen.
He said: "The taxi carried on forward after it hit us and it was going to run over my chest.
"Luckily my brother grabbed me and stopped the wheels running over me."
Mr Rehman admits dangerous driving but denies five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and four counts of attempting to unlawfully cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
He also denies two counts of inflicting GBH, two counts of causing GBH with intent, one count of attempting to cause GBH with intent, one count of unlawful wounding and one count of wounding with intent.
The trial continues.