Monday 18 November 2019

Teenager 'used car as weapon' before running women over, court told

Driver McCauley Cox is accused of deliberately trying to injure a man in his Ford C-Max

Driver McCauley Cox is accused of deliberately trying to injure a man in his Ford C-Max
Driver McCauley Cox is accused of deliberately trying to injure a man in his Ford C-Max

Adam Hale

A teenage driver used his car as a “weapon” in an attack which left two young women seriously injured, a court has heard.

McCauley Cox, 19, is accused of deliberately driving into a crowd of young people in his car after a fight broke out outside a nightclub in Newport city centre in Wales on April 29.

CCTV used in the trial was released on Wednesday showing Cox’s car approaching the crowd of pedestrians outside the Courtyard nightclub on Cambrian Road as some begin fighting.

The car clips one of the pedestrians, leading some to kick the Ford C-Max people carrier and confront Cox at either side of his vehicle.

Moments later the car darts forward and turns on to the pavement towards a group of people, including victims Sophie Poole and Emma Nicholls who are sitting on a kerb.

Cox runs over the two girls before reversing back over them, then darting forward once more over their bodies and reversing further down the street.

Witnesses begin to attack his car and smash its windscreen, prompting Cox to accelerate out of the road at speed, missing other pedestrians by inches.

Police found the car later that day “engulfed in flames”. Cox said he decided to park it up after its engine began to smoke, and denied intentionally torching it.

On Wednesday, Cox told his trial he accidentally ran over victims Miss Poole and Miss Nicholls after becoming “frightened” by revellers threatening to “batter” him in his vehicle, which he claims he had driven near the crowd of people to break up the fight.

But prosecutor James Wilson accused Cox of using his vehicle to deliberately run over a man who was trading blows with his friend, only to miss and repeatedly run over the two young women, aged in their early twenties, who were sitting on a kerb.

Mr Wilson said: “Today you say you wanted to try and break up the fight.

“But you know full well you weren’t breaking a fight up. You were using the car as a weapon.

“You know full well the reason you went for that man is because he was confronting a friend of yours.

“You deliberately drove that car at that man with intent to cause him very serious harm.

“And you are responsible for those girls’ injuries because of your anger and annoyance at that man who was confronting your friend.”

McCauley Cox is accused of deliberately trying to injure a man in his Ford C-Max (CPS)

Cox denied trying to hit the man, who has not been identified, and also denied knowing he had run over Miss Poole and Miss Nicholls, despite driving over and reversing over their bodies twice and subsequently having his car attacked by witnesses.

Cox said: “It felt like I hit something and I went into the air and came down and I was stuck.

“It was like it was stuck on top of something and I couldn’t move forward.

“I weren’t paying attention properly. I wasn’t thinking. I thought I hit a bin or a bollard.

“I only realised I’d hit someone when I was arrested.”

He said he had been “scared” by people threatening him through his side window and had tried to flee by driving around the crowd of people and mounting the pavement.

But Mr Wilson pointed out the pavement had been occupied by several pedestrians at the time, including victims Miss Poole and Miss Nicholls.

Newport Crown Court had previously heard the university friends suffered “really serious injuries” after being repeatedly run over, with Miss Poole needing specialist skin grafts and Miss Nicholls suffering a lacerated spleen.

Mr Wilson said Cox had admitted unlawfully injuring the two young women, but denies his intention had been to drive his car into the unidentified male.

Cox, from John Ireland Close, Newport, denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The trial continues.

PA Media

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