A Muslim taxi driver accused of using his cab like a bowling ball to run down a group of men claims he cannot remember driving onto the pavement. Majid Rehman, 28, of Cardiff, is accused of deliberately using his taxi to run over six rail workers and two other pedestrians. He argued with the railmen outside the city’s central station, and says he acted in ‘self-defense.’ He admits dangerous driving but denies 16 charges of causing injury.
BBCThe jury was told that a furious Mr Rehman deliberately drove “at high speed” towards the men as they walked home after a row at a taxi rank. Mr Rehman told the court he drove towards the men on 27 March after being attacked by them on the rank outside Cardiff central railway station.
The court heard that Mr Rehman told police officers at the scene: “They assaulted me and it was in self-defense.” Mr Rehman told the court the group of railway workers had spotted him sat in his taxi and punched him to the chest and shouted: “We will kill you and we will kill your brother.” Mr Rehman said: “I got into my cab to drive home and find my brother because I was really scared. “I got to the traffic lights, I was so scared, and somehow my taxi collided with them. (SOMEHOW??)
The eight railmen, wearing fluorescent uniforms, were left flattened on a pavement after the taxi ploughed into them on a bridge, just yards from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, last night. The railway workers were told they were ‘lucky to be alive’ after being given emergency treatment at the roadside by 999 teams.
All eight injured men were taken to hospital in Cardiff suffering a series of injuries, including spinal, but none life-threatening. “After the crash I was pulled out of the taxi by some of the railway gang and they kicked and stamped on my head.” (Was this before they were taken to the hospital…or after?)
Passers-by were shocked at the scene of carnage as the railway team were struck on a pavement just 200 yards from the Welsh capital’s main train station. One witness said: ‘It was incredible. I saw an argument between the workers in orange and a taxi driver. Then that stopped but the taxi came round the corner – then the next thing I knew they were hit. They looked like they were just going home from work and headed to the train station.’
Claire Wilks, prosecuting, said six of the men were leaving the railway station around 7pm and were wearing work wear – high visibility orange trousers and tops.”Along the way some of the group began to argue with Rehman. ”Eventually the group 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.”
Mark Underwood and Richard Partridge were walking in front of the group of rail workers on the pavement, the court heard. Ms 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.” Ms Wilks said Mr Underwood was trapped under the taxi and suffered significant burns to his back, legs and arms as he was wedged under the hot engine.