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Taxi rank assault trial man: 'I acted in self-defence'

PUBLISHED: 16:38 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:18 23 August 2010

A 32-YEAR-OLD accused of punching a man to the ground after an argument outside a taxi rank has told a court he acted in self defence Matthew Turner, of Highview, Meopham, who is charged with affray, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court to give evidence.

A 32-YEAR-OLD accused of punching a man to the ground after an argument outside a taxi rank has told a court he acted in "self defence"

Matthew Turner, of Highview, Meopham, who is charged with affray, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court to give evidence.

He is standing trial alongside his brother Benjamin Turner, who is charged with inflicting GBH after he punched another man, James Parkinson, who suffered serious head injuries and brain damage after the assault.

The court heard that Ben Turner, of Downs Road, Istead Rise, hit Mr Parkinson outside the taxi rank in New Road, Gravesend, after the FA Trophy Final in May last year, following an argument about queue jumping.

Last Friday Matthew told the court he punched another man who approached him after because: "He came towards me aggressively with his arms out.

He added: "I did what I had to do.

"He didn't give me any option. It was self defence."

The court heard that before the incident, Ben Turner, who also claims he was acting in self defence when he punched Mr Parkinson, jumped the taxi queue with two of his friends, and got in a cab.

Mr Parkinson then started arguing with Matthew, who was still waiting, when Ben got out of the cab and punched him.

Matthew Turner told the court that before his brother punched Mr Parkinson, the victim was "angry and aggressive." He said he didn't the punch, but said it was all over in "seconds"

When asked how hard he punched the second man, he said: "It wasn't hard at all, it was just enough to say don't come near me."

A verdict was expected in the trial as the Reporter went to press.

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