Teenage driver denies trying to injure pedestrian he mowed down

PUBLISHED: 16:24 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 23 October 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A teenaged driver has denied trying to injure a pedestrian who he mowed down before driving away and leaving him collapsed in the road.

Connor Lee said he thought he had knocked down victim Stuart Dixon rather than run him over when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Wednesday, November 23.

Lee told a jury that it all happened so quickly he did not know what he was doing.

The prosecution said Lee used his car as a weapon and clearly intended to injure Mr Dixon because he could be seen on CCTV turning the wheel sharply to the right to aim his car at him as he pulled away.

The incident happened outside the Red Lion pub in Lyme Road, Axminster at 7.40pm on May 11 this year when Mr Dixon had just finishing watching the European Rugby Cup Final and went into the street for a cigarette.

The prosecution said Mr Dixon saw Lee's red Hyundai car drive past and spat at it because he thought it was speeding.

The jury heard Lee turned around and returned to the pub where he pulled up outside.

CCTV showed Mr Dixon exchanging words with Lee through the passenger window before walking around the front of the car to approach the driver's door.

Mr Dixon got just past the bumper before the footage showed the front wheels of the car turning sharply to the right and it hitting him as it pulled away.

The court heard the car's offside front wheel went over both of his legs before Lee reversed at an angle which avoided hitting him again, and then drove away and turned into a side street.

Mr Dixon suffered a shattered lower right leg and a dislocated left ankle.

He spent three weeks in hospital and is still on crutches and unable to return to work five months later.

Lee, aged 19, of Wellesley Road, Charmouth, denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The jury has been told he admits the less serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

Lee told the jury he was out with three friend and had had drunk some vodka before the incident.

He said was driving them to Lyme Regis when he passed the pub.

He said he pulled up to talk to the man who spat at his car and was worried about what he would do when he started walking around the front of the vehicle.

Lee said: "It all happened so quick. I thought he was going to hit me. I don't know why I turned the car to the right. It happened in like two seconds. I wasn't thinking.

"You can't make a decision to run somebody over in two seconds. I did not intend to harm him. I didn't know what was going to happen but I didn't want to hurt him. I didn't mean to hurt him.

"I did not realise how far I had gone by the time my foot came off the throttle and went on the brake. I was not drunk. I did not realise what was happening, I was an inexperienced driver.

"I was not annoyed or angry. I never said that I was going to do him. I don't know why I drove away. I just thought I had bumped him and he had fallen over.

"I did not see him on the floor. I did not realise he was hurt. I panicked and drove off. I don't know why I didn't stop to help him.

"I feel bad about it now. I'm sorry for running him over. I didn't mean to hurt him."

The trial continues.

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