Pair deny attacking Telford Go Carz driver minutes before crash that killed him

A taxi driver was kicked and punched in the face during a confrontation minutes before the car he was driving struck a wall and a tree, killing him, a court was told.

Floral tributes were left at the scene
Floral tributes were left at the scene

Telford Go Carz driver Ishfaq Hussain died at the scene from multiple injuries after being chased by a Peugeot driven by John Cox in Madeley on August 7 last year, Stafford Crown Court heard.

Cox and co-defendant Brandon Dowen are accused of the manslaughter of Mr Hussain, aged 50.

The jury heard “the catalyst” for the incident was when the taxi driver stopped to ask Dowen’s girlfriend for directions shortly after 10pm that night. The jury was told she took it “the wrong way” and swore at Mr Hussain who was captured on CCTV immediately driving away.

When she was picked up a short time later by the defendants she appeared to be “out of sorts” and told them that an Asian driver had tried to chat her up.

Mr Robert Price, prosecuting barrister, said the defendants then decided to find Mr Hussain to “teach him a lesson” in a joint enterprise.

He said Mr Hussain then found his passenger, but during the journey the Peugoet owned by Dowen’s mother pulled alongside. Front passenger Dowen swore at the taxi driver, who pulled over.

Cox then got out and kicked the red Skoda taxi before pulling off the rear wiper, he said.

Mr Price said Mr Hussain drove off, but was pursued at speeds in excess of 60mph along Ironbridge Road by the Peugeot, with Dowen’s girlfriend and a 13-year-old youth in the rear seats.

Mr Hussain pulled over a second time and Dowen got out of the car, opened the taxi door and punched him several times in the face before kicking him, the court was told.

Under cross-examination Cox repeatedly told the jury that he did not know what was talked about between Dowen and the victim in the moments leading up to the crash.

The jury was also shown footage from the dashcam from a Range Rover in the area at the time of the incident which captured the moment when Cox carried out a handbrake U-turn in Ironbridge Road after following the taxi for a distance of about 70 metres.

Mr Price put to Cox: “He tried to drive away once, but you chased him. He pulled over and when he pulled over he was given a beating.

“This was a highly charged situation with the taxi. Tempers were running very high, yours and Brandon Dowen’s. This was not a controlled situation. You had both lost it, hadn’t you?”

To which Cox replied: “No.”

Mr Price put to Cox: “Brandon Dowen led the way with the violence, but you drove him to the point where the violence took place. He needed you to get him close to the taxi driver. He couldn’t do it on foot. You drove so that he could do what he wanted to do.

“You pulled up to the taxi that positioned Brandon Dowen right next to Mr Hussain on two separate occasions and you knew full well that he was going to deliver violence.”

“And you drove dangerously close to the taxi, pursuing him on that road.

“Do you agree that you made Mr Hussain very frightened by what you were doing?”

Cox replied: “As I said, I didn’t see any violence. I didn’t see anyone hit anyone.”

Mr Price asked him: “Was Brandon Dowen encouraging you to catch up with the taxi?

Cox replied: “No.”

Mr Price: “What was he saying?”

Cox: “Just that he needed his details that’s all. We were following it.”

Mr Price: “Was he saying, ‘Come on John, put your foot on it’?”

Cox: “No.”

Cox told the jury that Dowen got out of the car and “spoke to” Mr Hussain and got the information they needed.

Mr Price told him: “I suggest to you that you knew full well that Brandon was going to deliver a beating to Mr Hussain. The details were on the vehicle for all to see. Were you expecting Dowen to hit the taxi driver and threaten him?”

“No,” Cox replied.

Cox said his attention was focussed on the 13-year-old male who had been a rear seat passenger in the Peugeot.

Mr Price said: “You were there in the driver’s seat. Brandon got out and you are telling the jury that you paid no attention to what was going on outside your car?”

Cox said: “ I was looking ahead to see if a car was coming.”

Mr Price also put to Cox: “There was a plan between the two of you. You were going to give him a beating to teach him a lesson. This wasn’t a nice Sunday afternoon drive out in the country.”

Dowen, 19, of Park Street, Madeley, and John Cox, 32, of Harrowby Road, Wolverhampton, deny the allegations. The trial continues.

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