Driving 'like Grand Theft Auto' court told

A MAN deliberately drove at two brothers in Kidderminster, hitting them both and knocking one unconscious, in an attack described as "something from Grand Theft Auto", a jury was told.

James Barber, 31, appeared before Worcester Crown Court yesterday charged with driving his Peugeot along Chapel Street in Kidderminster town centre in a dangerous manner.

Prosecutor Amy Jackson told the court that brothers Ricky and Luke Stokes were drinking in the town centre and were walking from the King Billy to The Sportsman when they came across Barber.

"There seems little doubt that initially any contact between them and the defendant was due to the two brothers being at least verbally aggressive, " she said.

"But what they say is that after this verbal confrontation, this defendant drove at Luke and clipped him on the leg and then drove off.

"He did a handbrake turn and went back towards the people involved. He goes past them...and did another handbrake turn and comes back towards the brothers.

"He mounts the pavement and goes up on to the grass verge. He drives towards Ricky and hits him, square on. Luckily, there were no serious injuries."

She said while there was "no doubt" there had been an initial confrontation between Barber and the brothers, that was "no excuse" for driving in that way.

In evidence, Luke Stokes, 24, told the court they had been out drinking and he had had between eight and 10 pints of Strongbow and said he only had limited memory of what had happened.

"I can remember I must have had an altercation with a bloke - I can remember him driving into me and driving off," he said. "I can remember him going up the grass verge and doing some kind of 360-turn.

"He hit Ricky, knocked him in the air. He knocked him unconscious. Then I can remember him speeding off."

In an interview with police, the court heard, he told them: "It was like something out of Grand Theft Auto, the video game. It didn't seem real."

Barber told the court he had been driving along Chapel Street when the brothers had attacked the car, punching the bonnet and windows and kicking the side. "They were very aggressive, very angry," he said.

"I was frightened. I've never experienced anything like that before in my life. I just wanted to get out of there."

He told the jury he changed direction to escape the situation and head back home and said he had been forced to mount the grass verge as there had been someone standing in the road.

He said as he was on the verge, a man had run out in front of him and he "couldn't avoid him".

Mr Stokes said he could not remember attacking the car.

Barber, of Francis Road, Smethwick, denies one charge of dangerous driving.

The trial continues.


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