Maidstone taxi driver Ahbabur Rahman cleared of deliberately reversing at passengers in row over fare
Taxi driver Ahbabur Rahman
A taxi driver accused of injuring three passengers by deliberately reversing at them during a row has today been cleared of assault and dangerous driving charges.
Ahbabur Rahman had denied driving at friends Remmi Sexton, Grace Dilley and Joe Glenister.
Maidstone Crown Court heard the trio had been out drinking in Maidstone town centre with James Hartnell and Lucy Holland and asked the 47-year-old cabbie to take them to Vinters Park at about 4.30am on September 29 last year.
On the way, Miss Sexton and Mr Glenister had a heated argument and there was then disagreement over the fare.
Prosecutor Ian Foinette said because of the argument Miss Sexton asked Mr Rahman to stop in Bedgebury Close and let her out. He did so and Mr Glenister followed her.
The three others also got out and £10 was handed to the driver for the £7 fare.
"It seems there was some sort of argument going on with the driver," said Mr Foinette. "There was shouting. He got back in.
"Those behind saw the reversing lights come on the taxi. He then reversed back at speed some 12-15ft and hit the three.
"They were all knocked over. Remmi Sexton hit her head on the ground. After hitting them the defendant moved forward and just drove off fast away from the scene.
"One person described the engine not only revving but also the tyres squealing."
An ambulance was called and injuries were treated in hospital.
Stephanie Bryant, who lives in Bedgebury Close, claimed she looked out of her window and saw the taxi reverse at speed into the people behind it. Her father is a paramedic and he went out and tended to the injured.
Mr Rahman, of Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, denied two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, one of assault by beating and dangerous driving.
He denied reversing at all and said he did not hit anybody. The passengers, he said, had been behaving badly, swearing and throwing food at each other.
There was a dispute over the fare, he continued, and he threatened to call the police. The car was capable of doing a 95-degree turn and there was no need to reverse.
He added the passengers had damaged the rear of his cab.
The jury of eight women and four men acquitted him of all charges after deliberating for over four hours.
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