A TEENAGE driver has been convicted of assaulting a petrol station manager who was dragged for half a mile on a car's bonnet in West Kingsdown.
Joshua Charnley, 19, of no fixed address, was found guilty of causing GBH with intent at Canterbury Crown Court today (Jan 28) after the jury came to a majority verdict.
Charnley aimed his Hyundai Accent at victim Lekshmanan Asokkumar and carried him on the bonnet of the car for almost half a mile in July last year.
On 31 July, he drove the Hyundai to the Texaco service station in London Road, West Kingsdown. Charnley had altered the registration number by using black tape to make the plate read a different number.
Once at the service station Charnley’s girlfriend got out and filled the car with £39 of fuel. She got back into the car before the station manager came out onto the forecourt and raised his arms to stop them leaving.
Charnley revved the engine and lurched forward and the station manager was forced onto the bonnet of the car as Charnley drove off.
The victim remained there for approximately half a mile before being thrown from the bonnet, striking his head on the tarmac. He suffered a fractured skull and liver damage and it is believed that some of his injuries are likely to be permanent.
Having left the man injured at the side of the road, Charnley drove off, later removing the tape from the registration plate and selling the car.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Clayden said: "Charnley drove to the petrol station in order to commit a pre-meditated theft. However, events took an extremely serious turn and a man was left with multiple fractures of the skull.
"Charnley had no driving licence and no insurance and having flung the driver from the bonnet he made no attempt to stop, or call the emergency services. Instead, he went about altering the registration plate and selling the car."
Following an investigation by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, Charnley was arrested in the early hours of August 2 last year in Chatham.
He admitted causing serious injury by driving dangerously but denied the more serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Charnley will be sentenced this Friday (Jan 31) at Canterbury Crown Court.
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