Johnny Assani killed by road rage attack in front of his son
A MOTORIST involved in a road rage incident died after being punched and kicked by a gang of men in front of his horrified son.
Johnny Assani, who was left lying bleeding and unconscious in Walbrook Road, Derby, died as a result of his injuries, in hospital the following day.
His 16-year-old son Mukhaila Assani, who tried to drag the attackers off his father, was also allegedly punched by some of the men.
Two brothers, Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rafiq have already been convicted of killing Mr Assani, aged 43.
A third brother, Mohammed Tariq, is now standing trial, accused of being one of a nine-strong gang that attacked Mr Assani.
Tariq was not tried with his brothers because "he went to ground" after the attack – hiding in Birmingham and then Bradford, Nottingham Crown Court has heard. The 26-year-old, of Walbrook Road, who denies manslaughter, was arrested almost six months after the attack.
In the latest trial, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told a jury that as Mr Assani's attackers left him lying unconscious on the road, one shouted out: "You don't mess with the Khans."
Mr Joyce said: "He [Mr Assani] was killed by members of the family, known locally in Derby as the Khan family.
"Members of this family, including Shahid, Rafiq and this defendant Tariq, together with other men, each played their part in an attack on Johnny Assani, with their fists and feet as he lay defenceless on the ground on the road."
Mr Assani was attacked at about 3pm on Sunday, August 14 last year, after "something happened between his car and Shahid's car" as they were driving along Upper Dale Road.
Mr Assani's silver VW Golf was in front of Shahid's white BMW but when Shahid turned left on to Walbrook Road, Mr Assani went around the traffic island and followed him.
Shahid, 33, pulled up outside his home in Walbrook Road and Mr Assani stopped his car a couple of car-lengths in front. "Johnny Assani gets out and goes to speak to the driver of the BMW, Shahid," said Mr Joyce.
Mukhaila, who was sat in the passenger seat of his father's car, remained in the vehicle.
Mr Joyce said: "The conversation started to get out of hand – both men started shouting. Shahid shouts towards the address at 112 Walbrook Road. He was calling for back-up.
"A man came out of that address. He jogged over to Johnny Assani and punched him in the area of the right temple, knocking him to the ground. Both men set about repeatedly hitting Mr Assani, using fists and feet, to punch and kick him to the head and body. And the only thing that Johnny Assani could do at that stage was to shield himself from the blows as he tried to get back up. He failed."
The court heard that at that point between seven and nine more men came out of the house and joined in kicking and punching Mr Assani as he lay on the ground.
The prosecution's claim is that among this group were Rafiq, 32, and Tariq.
One man hung back and delivered a final kick to Mr Assani's head and walked off smiling, said Mr Joyce.
A woman living nearby, Ellen Shreeve, had seen the commotion from her house and rushed out to give Mr Assani first aid until paramedics arrived.
She said: "I heard all the shouting in the street and had a look what all the fuss was. I saw a big group of people – around 15 to 20 – outside a house further down the street, around number 118.
"When the crowds had dispersed I saw the person lying on the street and rushed out. I'm first aid trained and took my first aid kit with me. I recognised Mukhaila when I got out and then saw the man on the ground was his father.
"I helped stem the bleeding and tried to calm both of them down while the paramedics arrived."
The victim was taken to the Royal Derby Hospital and a CT scan showed he had suffered "a large bleed in his brain". He was transferred to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, where he died in the intensive care unit after suffering a cardiac arrest a day after the attack.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had suffered significant bruising to his back, chest, upper abdomen and to his right jaw. He had also lost a tooth which had lodged in his throat.
Tariq's DNA was found in a blood sample taken from the nails of Mr Assani's right hand, the jury was told.
Shahid and Rafiq were arrested but Tariq was not traced until February this year.
Gemma Rostron, 28, of Almond Street, Derby; Sajida Rafiq, 34, of Bishop Lonsdale Way, Mickleover; and Kamran Rajpoot, 27, of Grange Avenue, Sunnyhill, have pleaded guilty to doing acts to attempt to pervert the course of justice.
The offences involved doing acts to help Tariq evade capture by the police.
The case continues.
SON'S HORROR AS HE SEES DAD FALL TO GROUND
Johnny Assani's son Mukhaila told the court how he saw the attack on his dad.
While sitting in his dad's car, he heard one of the men shout: "Go and get me a knife."
It was at this stage, the 16-year-old got out of the car.
Giving evidence, Mukhaila, said: "I ran over to my dad when he was on the floor. It was one punch that knocked him down.
"I was shocked when I saw my dad fall. He didn't see the man who hit him coming and I think it was a shock to my dad that he'd been hit.
"He didn't get up after that, he never got up again. He tried and tried but he couldn't because of being kicked and punched while he was laid on the ground.
"I tried to pull the men off him but they started to attack me then and punched my in the face.
"I was left with a cut lip and bruising to my head as I tried to pull them away from my dad.
"When they were hitting me I tried to protect myself and was protecting my face by shielding it with my arms. I had my eyes closed and I couldn't see what was happening to my dad."
Seconds later the men dispersed and Mukhaila saw his father lying on the ground, his head on the pavement and his feet on the road, breathing but unconscious and unresponsive.