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Man left with brain damage, court heard

PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:17 23 August 2010

TAXI RANK: Scene of the attack

TAXI RANK: Scene of the attack

A 56-YEAR-OLD was left with permanent brain damage after he was punched to the face by a queue jumper at a town centre taxi rank, a court heard. Benjamin Turner, of Downs Road, Istead Rise, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday. The jury heard tha

A 56-YEAR-OLD was left with permanent brain damage after he was punched to the face by a queue jumper at a town centre taxi rank, a court heard.

Benjamin Turner, of Downs Road, Istead Rise, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.

The jury heard that Mr Turner punched James Parkinson at 11.30pm outside a taxi rank in New Road, Gravesend, after the FA Trophy Final between Ebbsfleet United and Torquay at Wembley on May 10 last year.

Mr Parkinson, now 58, fell to the ground, where he hit his head on a concrete kerb, which has left him with serious head injuries and amnesia.

Mr Turner has pleaded not guilty to inflicting GBH, and is standing trial alongside his brother Matthew, who has pleaded not guilty to affray, after it is alleged he punched another man in the queue minutes later.

Edmund Berge, prosecuting, said both brothers had spent the day at Wembley with friends, and had travelled back to Gravesend on the train.

After they were refused entry to a nightclub, it is claimed Benjamin and two of his friends jumped the queue, and got in a cab. Mr Parkinson, who was also in the queue with his son Ben, then started remonstrating with Matthew Turner, who was still in the queue, about the queue jumping.

Mr Berge said: "It appears that Ben Turner, in the taxi, saw what was going on. Just as the taxi pulled away, he asked it to stop.

"He got out of the cab, he walked to where Mr Parkinson was standing talking to Matthew Turner, and Benjamin Turner punched Mr Parkinson in the face.

"He punched him with sufficient force for Mr Parkinson to fall to the ground.

"After punching Mr Parkinson he simply got back in the cab with two friends and asked the driver to drive off."

Mr Parkinson was taken to Darent Valley Hospital, and then to Kings College Hospital where he underwent months of treatment for his injuries.

Both defendants claim they lashed out in self-defence.

The trial continues.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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