Riot Victim's Dad Tells Of Car Crash 'Thud'

Lisa Dowd, Midlands correspondent

A father whose son was one of three men killed when they were hit by a car during the riots in Birmingham last summer has told of the moment he heard "a loud thud" and what sounded like "a car crash".

Tariq Jahan's son, Haroon, 20, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were struck on Dudley Road in Winson Green in the early hours of Wednesday, August 10.

Mr Jahan told the court how he was at home when "I heard the roar of an engine that was being pushed... a car was being driven at high speed.

"I could hear the engine revving up... getting louder and louder," he said. Then he heard "a loud thud".

He said: "Something to me sounded like a car crash, a car hitting something."

Mr Jahan said he heard "some lads shout Allahu Akbar" or "God is Great".

When he rushed to the nearby Dudley Road he saw one of the victims Shazad. He was, said the prosecution, then called over to his own son who was in the road. He did what he could for Haroon but he died.

Earlier, Mr Haroon told how he was a "well known" member of the community and had taken it upon himself to advise local businesses to close early following disorder in the city.

He had watched the Jet petrol station on Dudley Road be attacked by a gang of around 15 people throwing bricks at the windows when the owner's son could not bring the shutters down. He had wanted to help but it was "15 to 1".

The next day, Mr Jahan said the community decided to "defend our homes and businesses. I could see what was going wrong on the news".

He said by 5pm, businesses were closed and by around 10pm a crowd of up to 50, some with sticks, and some wearing balaclavas gathered on Dudley Road.

Mr Jahan described how abuse was shouted from cars. One man said "You guys are dead" and another shouted "Where's the best place to do raises?" which Mr Jahan took to mean "where's the best place to rob?"

The crowd retaliated by throwing bricks and stones, which smashed some of the cars' windows.

Mr Jahan said he and some elders tried to keep younger members of the group "calm".

A car was set alight nearby and Mr Jahan believed it was a diversionary tactic and they should not move as they "would use that moment to attack".

He left the scene, and returned home and that is when he heard "the noise go past" his street and down the Dudley Road towards his son.

The prosecution had already shown the jury CCTV footage of the moment the three were hit by a black Mazda and flung into the air.

Tim Spencer QC told the court the driving "was not accidental".

He said: "It was deliberate and co-ordinated. It was the modern day equivalent of a chariot charge. And it was deadly."

Adam King, Joshua Donald, Ian Beckford, Ryan Goodwin, Juan Ruiz-Gaviria, Everton Graham, and Aaron Parkins, all from the West Midlands, and Shaun Flynn, of no fixed address, all deny murder.

The trial is continuing and expected to last around 10 weeks.

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