Pair found guilty of manslaughter in Telford Go Carz driver death case

Two men who chased a taxi driver moments before he died when his car struck a tree have been found guilty of manslaughter.

Brandon Dowen, left, and John Cox, right, have been found guilty of manslaughter
Brandon Dowen, left, and John Cox, right, have been found guilty of manslaughter

Telford Go Carz taxi driver Ishfaq Hussain, 51, suffered multiple injuries when his red Skoda struck a wall then a tree, killing him minutes after he was involved in two confrontations with John Cox and Brandon Dowen, in Madeley, on August 7 last year.

The victim, who had a heart condition, was punched and kicked during the incident by Dowen, 19.

Cox, 32, had denied pursuing Mr Hussain at speeds of more than 60mph along Ironbridge Road before the collision happened at about 10.30pm.

Jury

A jury at Stafford Crown Court unanimously found Cox guilty of manslaughter on Monday, but found Dowen guilty by a majority of 10 to two after three days of deliberations.

Judge Michael Chambers QC remanded both men immediately in custody after the verdicts were delivered.

Floral tributes were left at the scene where Mr Hussain's taxi crashed

“You have been convicted of what is clearly a serious matter that led to loss of life. I’m afraid you will immediately be placed in custody. You will be sentenced on Thursday and you are to be produced at court in person. The hearing will not be held via video link,” Judge Chambers told them.

He told the jury: “This is obviously a very serious case."

Directions

The court heard that the catalyst for the incident was when Mr Hussain stopped to ask Dowen’s girlfriend for directions shortly after 10pm that night.

The jury was told that she took it “the wrong way” and swore at Mr Hussain who was captured on CCTV talking to her, with the wheels of the taxi still turning.

When she was picked up minutes afterwards by the defendants she told them that an Asian driver had tried to chat her up.

The prosecution said the defendants then decided to find Mr Hussain to “teach him a lesson” in a joint enterprise.

Pursuit

By then Mr Hussain found his passenger and during the journey the Peugeot, belonging to Dowen’s mother, pulled alongside.

Front passenger Dowen swore at the taxi driver, who pulled over.

Cox then got out and kicked the taxi before pulling off the rear windscreen wiper.

A frightened Mr Hussain drove off, but was pursued at speeds in excess of 60 mph along Ironbridge Road.

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

Cox, of Harrowby Road, Wolverhampton, and Dowen, of Park Street, Madeley, Telford, denied manslaughter with Dowen claiming that the taxi man had grabbed him and he was acting in self-defence.

Well respected

DCI Steve Tonks, from West Mercia Police, paid tribute to Mr Hussain after his killers were found guilty.

He said: "Ishfaq Hussain was married with a family.

"He was a hard-working taxi driver who at the time of his death was doing his job to support his family.

"He was also a well respected man in the community. "

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