Published: 19:21, 23 June 2021
| Updated: 19:39, 23 June 2021
A 27-year-old man accused of using a car as a weapon to try to murder people standing outside a pub says he "didn't want to kill anyone".
Two men were injured when they were hit by the blue Ford Fiesta near the Clipper pub in a pedestrian-only zone in Dartford on October 11, 2019.
The driver, Bradley Knapp, has admitted causing grievous bodily harm to one of the victims, Callum Walpole, but has denied two charges of attempting to murder Mr Walpole and other pedestrians.
The jury at Maidstone Crown Court was shown footage of the moment the vehicle struck the group, "flinging" one of the victims into another parked car.
Prosecutor Simon Taylor QC told the jury that Knapp's actions caught on CCTV were "deliberate and murderous".
"This took place in a pedestrian zone and was a deliberate act of aggression," he said. "He accelerated, speeding towards a group of pedestrians... the car being used as a deadly weapon.
"The issue you have to decide is was his intention to kill... or not?"
Knapp, of no fixed address, was caught on camera entering the pub with two women and walking past pub-goer Sean O'Flaherty, who was dancing with other people.
Mr Taylor said that as Knapp and the women walked past the dancefloor again, Mr O'Flaherty "appeared to have touched the face of one of the women".
Moments later the two men begin fighting and are escorted out of the pub by bouncers, with Mr O'Flaherty leaving through the front door and Knapp out of the back.
Mr Taylor said the footage showed Knapp then returned as a passenger in the Ford before getting out and confronting Mr O'Flaherty, who was standing outside the front of the pub.
Knapp is then shown getting into the driver's seat, negotiating bollards near the pedestrian zone and then accelerating towards the group before ploughing into a parked Mercedes.
The prosecutor said some of the people jumped out of the way but Mr Walpole "was flipped into the air and landed on the other side of a parked car", fracturing his right shoulder and wrist. Mr Sayer was clipped and fell to the ground, injuring his hands, hip, ankle, foot and calf.
But giving evidence, Knapp, who had been living in Gravesend at the time, said he wanted to "hurt them" but not "kill them".
He told the jury that on the night of the incident he had been preparing for his sister's wedding the following day.
He went out with three others, including his girlfriend, but they were refused entry to the Clipper because he was wearing shorts.
After changing his clothes they were allowed in and it was then he saw Mr O'Flaherty.
"I was in a rage. I had been glassed. It all happened so quickly."
The two men had clashed on the phone weeks earlier over an allegation of unpaid debts.
"I had no idea what he looked like but my friend knew him and pointed him out and we spoke about the threats to my sister," he said.
"Out of the blue he glassed me... I remember a number of blows and I fought back."
After being ejected, he returned to the car which had been left in an alley, where his friend Sam Jones was sitting.
"I told Sam I had been glassed and we drove to the front of the pub to carry on fighting," he said.
"I was in a rage. I had been glassed. It all happened so quickly. There were multiple men coming from all directions. I believe I threw and received punches.
"I wanted to drive at them. I was in a panic. I wanted to get Sam and me out of the situation.
"I wanted to hurt them but I didn't want to kill them. I had just been attacked."
Defence barrister Danny Moore asked if, during the four seconds of driving, did he think of the consequences.
He replied: "I didn't want to kill anyone. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in jail. I remember the car hitting the first person. I don't remember hitting the second person.
"I feel horrible... remorseful. I drove a car to hurt someone but not to kill anyone."
None of those struck by the car nor Mr O'Flaherty have agreed to give evidence at the trial.
The case continues.