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Taxi driver Rofiqul Khan denies causing serious injury by dangerous driving after Robert Johnson was seriously hurt in Station Road, Ashford

By Sian Napier

A man suffered serious head injuries when he was dragged along a road in Ashford after his hand became caught on the door handle of a taxi, a court has been told.

Robert Johnson, from Maidstone, was badly hurt in the accident after he lost his balance, fell and the taxi ran him over, Martin Yale, prosecuting, told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court.

The taxi driver, Rofiqul Khan, 32, of Hurst Road, Kennington, Ashford, has denied causing serious injury by dangerous driving on December 22, 2012.

Robert Johnson was injured in Station Road, Ashford, in December 2012

Mr Yale said at about 5am on that day Khan picked up a fare in Ashford High Street and two brothers got into the back of the taxi. It was dark and heavy rain was falling.

Soon after setting off the taxi turned into Station Road.

Mr Johnson, who had been out drinking with a friend, was walking in the middle of the road and approaching cars as they came along.

"A witness said Mr Johnson ran along the side of the taxi, lost his balance and fell over and suffered severe head injuries” - Prosecutor Martin Yale

“As the taxi arrived Mr Johnson took hold of the rear passenger door,” Mr Yale said.

“It was a sliding door and he pulled the handle but it was locked. Khan and Mr Johnson had some conversation.

"Khan was frustrated and accelerated hard along the road. Mr Johnson’s hand was still on the door.

“It may be that it was stuck and he couldn’t free his hand.

A witness said Mr Johnson ran along the side of the taxi, lost his balance and fell over and suffered severe head injuries.”

Khan drove a few yards, stopped and rang the emergency services. He was given a breath test which was negative.

A police officer examined the taxi and found it was possible for a hand to become trapped in the door handle.

Mr Yale told the court: “It was apparent that an adult holding the door would be visible in the driver’s rear view mirror.

Khan says when he first saw Mr Johnson he was in the middle of his lane, trying to flag him down.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

“Khan said that he was concerned about his safety and the safety of his passengers.

“The crown’s case is that Khan showed a disregard for Mr Johnson and that by accelerating when he knew Mr Johnson was hanging on the car he knew he would sustain serious injuries. Driving in this way would be dangerous.”

The trial continues.

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