Teenage driver 'scooped up' petrol station worker onto bonnet and drove off in West Kingsdown

Josh Charnley

Josh Charnley

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

A TEENAGER aimed his car at a petrol station manager and drove for half a mile with him clinging to the bonnet, a court has heard.

Joshua Charnley, 19, of no fixed address, is alleged to have made off from the Texaco service station in West Kingsdown without paying for fuel.

Prosecutor Martin Yale told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court that the victim Lekshmanan Asokkumar was “scooped up onto the bonnet” during the horrific incident in July last year.

Charnley has pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by driving dangerously but has denied a more serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Yale told the court: “Charnley used his car as a weapon as he made off from the petrol station without paying for petrol.

“He then drove his car into Mr Asokkumar, scooping him up onto the bonnet and travelling nearly half a mile with the retail manager clinging on.”

Mr Asokkumar and Kim Waterman were working at the petrol station in London Road at the time.

Mr Yale added: “Ms Waterman’s attention was drawn to a woman filling a car at the pumps nearest the road.

“The man was still sitting in the driver’s seat – that was Joshua Charnley.

"It was always his intention to make off without paying for petrol as he had no money to do so.

"He had also altered the number plates of his car with black tape in order to disguise the vehicle’s identity.

"Ms Waterman mentioned to her colleague about not being able to see the registration of the car and Mr Asokkumar walked out of the shop.”

The prosecutor said the retail manager walked towards the car as the girl replaced the nozzle of the petrol pump and got back inside the car.

“Mr Asokummar stood in front of the car and put his hands up. Charnley revved the engine and lurched the car forward on more than one occasion in an attempt to intimidate Mr Asokkumar, “ he alleged.

The jury heard that Charnley appeared angry and was shouting at Mr Asokkumar – but the manager stood his ground to prevent them from leaving.

Mr Yale added: “Charnley then drove off quickly, revving hard and spinning the wheels directly at Mr Asokkumar. The car hit him, lifting onto the bonnet and Charnley then continued down the road at 30 mph with Mr Asokkumar clinging to the car.

“As the car continued up the road, one eye witness described Charnley punching Mr Asokkumar’s hands through the open window, while the car swerved from side to side.”

The car turned at speed into Hever Avenue and Mr Asokkumar was thrown clear, sustaining serious head injuries before he was taken by Air Ambulance to hospital.

The prosecutor said the manager was later treated for a fractured skull and liver damage and some of his injuries are likely to be permanent.

Charnley was arrested in August and admitted changing the registration number plates to steal petrol – but claimed he just panicked and drove away.

The trial continues.

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