Northern Ireland

Hijack accused Stuart Snoddy 'knocked down' court told

A man accused of trying to hijack a car was run over after he punched a driver in the face, a court has heard.

Stuart Snoddy denies attempting to hijack the car, attempting to cause criminal damage to it and causing actual bodily harm to the driver.

Belfast Crown Court was told an ear-ring belonging to the 27-year-old, of Abbeyglen Drive in Newtownabbey, was found in the car.

Mr Snoddy was allegedly knocked down by a second car he approached.

Prosecution lawyer Michael Chambers told the jury that Paul Macrory and his wife Anne were driving along the Shore Road in Whiteabbey village in August 2008 when a man stepped out in front of their car as they were stopped at traffic lights.

He said the man shouted at them to get out of the car and punched Mr Macrory in the face.

The lawyer said as the man, alleged to be Mr Snoddy, was reaching in, Mr Macrory grabbed him in a headlock.

He told the jury as that was happening, Mrs Macrory bit their attacker on the hand and screamed as the stalled Audi A6 estate drifted slowly into the oncoming traffic lane.

Two or three other people, possibly friends of Mr Snoddy, arrived on the scene and tried to pull him away but he punched Mr Macrory again, causing a cut below his right eye which needed three stitches, the lawyer said.

'Knocked over car'

As the Macrorys drove off, Mr Snoddy allegedly kicked out at the door panels of their car and Mr Chambers told the jury they would hear evidence from another couple whose car Snoddy also approached.

The driver of that car, said the lawyer, tried to avoid Mr Snoddy as he ran to their car but ended up knocking him down, sending him up and over the car.

He told the court there would also be evidence from a doctor who treated Mr Snoddy in hospital later that day when he arrived complaining that he had been run over.

Arrested and interviewed a year later, Mr Snoddy refused to answer police questions when the allegations were put to him although in his defence statement he admitted to being at the scene, but claimed he had been trying to pull the hijacker from the car.

However Mr Chambers told the jury: "We say that when you have heard all the evidence you will be satisfied about the accused's guilt on each of the charges."

The trial, set to last three days, continues.