Killer drove over dad's prone body'
PUBLISHED: 11:57 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 23 August 2010
A 21-YEAR-OLD man appeared in court yesterday for the first day of his trial where he is accused of killing a taxi driver with his own cab. Luke Aujila, of no fixed abode, stared calmly at the jury as he stood in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court on Wedn
A 21-YEAR-OLD man appeared in court yesterday for the first day of his trial where he is accused of killing a taxi driver with his own cab.
Luke Aujila, of no fixed abode, stared calmly at the jury as he stood in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday.
He is accused of murdering Gian Chand Bajar, 71, who was found injured in St Benedict's Avenue, Gravesend, in May 2007, after being run over by his own car.
The father of five died later at Darent Valley Hospital.
Mr Aujila had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Bajar, which the prosecution has not accepted.
The court heard Mr Aujila was in Gravesend town centre drinking Bacardi and cider at 10pm and got into a taxi at Northfleet and directed the driver to a cul-de-sac close to the defendant's home.
Witnesses who had been with Mr Aujila that night claim he had to borrow money from them as he did not have enough of his own.
Prosecutor Alan Kent said: "The taxi arrived at the cul-de-sac and there was an argument, probably about money.
"Both ended up outside the car and then the defendant assaulted Mr Bajar, the defendant punched Mr Bajar, kicked him to the ground and kicked him to the head.
"There was no doubt the assault was a severe one.
" There is no doubt it was severe because witnesses heard the noise and looked out of the windows, according to one witness Mr Bajar tried to get up and according to another he was unable to move.
"Following the assault the defendant got into the taxi on the driver's side, tried to make a three point turn but was unable to do so. He drove the taxi to the end of the cul-de-sac, drove straight at and over the prone body of Mr Bajar. He was still on the ground, the passenger wheels went over Mr Bajar's body causing extensive and fatal injuries."
The defendant then sped off to a service road behind the defendant's address and set fire to the taxi.
It is alleged he removed some property from the car, including business cards, keys and some coins and it was also suggested he set fire to them.
Clothes Mr Aujila wore that night were allegedly dumped. A broken Bacardi bottle was also found near to the cul-de-sac where the argument took place.
The prosecution also claim fingerprint evidence and blood on the clothing 'present what is an overwhelming case to say the defendant was involved in the killing of Mr Bajar.'
Prosecutor Alan Kent added: "On December 6 at a pre-trial hearing he entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter, so he accepts he did kill Mr Bajar and accepts it was unlawful. What he says is that he did not intend to do so."
The case continues.