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Belfast motorist drove straight through man in early morning incident, court told

By Ashleigh McDonald

An east Belfast motorist was accused on Wednesday of driving "straight at and straight through" a man in an early morning incident in the south of the city.

The claim was made at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, where 55-year old Joseph Floyd is standing trial on a charge of causing the other man grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving.

Floyd, from Ardnover Street, denies the charge and has made the case that he tried to swerve out of the way to avoid the other man - and not drive at him deliberately.

The jury heard that Floyd called at his ex-partner's home in the Rosetta area of the city in the early hours of June 1, 2015, but that her brother answered the door.

Giving evidence, the injured man - who sustained a broken knee in the incident - rejected Floyd's claim that he swerved to avoid him as he stood in the road.

Instead, he told the jury of five women and seven men that he was catapulted into the air and "as high as the lampposts" after Floyd deliberately drove into him.

He said he had been staying with his sister and was lying on the sofa at around 2.30am when he heard a knock at the door. The injured man said when he opened the door and saw Floyd standing there, he told him to "f*** off" as he had "no business being at the door."

The man said Floyd turned and started to walk away, that they were cursing at each other and that he followed Floyd out into the street "to make sure he left." He also admitted lifting a baton - which he said was for his own protection - and that he saw Floyd get into his car.

Telling the court he then saw Floyd drive to the top of the street then do a handbrake turn, the man said: "I could hear the wheels screeching, he revved the engine quite loud, then he came flying at me.

"He came flying straight at me and straight through me. He put me about ten to 15 feet in the air, I was as high as the lampposts, then I landed on my head."

When asked about the impact, he described it as "very very hard", and added: "He hit me some whack. He didn't even try to stop, he just accelerated right through me."

The injured man revealed he sustained a head injury and his right knee was broken. He said he was in a cast for around six months and that his legs now "click and clack" every time he walks.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel Denis Boyd, acting on behalf of Floyd, the injured man admitted drinking up to 12 tins of beer prior to the incident but said he wasn't drunk. He also denied answering the door to Floyd in an aggressive manner.

Regarding the collision, Mr Boyd suggested to the injured man that Floyd got into his car, did a three-point turn then hit him by accident as he was standing in the road. This was denied by the man, who said Floyd "looked right at me when he drove through me".

Telling the man that on the night in question he was drunk and in foul form, Mr Boyd said: "You are exaggerating to the jury. I suggest your evidence is not credible. Mr Floyd swerved to avoid you when you stepped onto the road. It was your own fault." These suggestions were rejected by the injured man.

At hearing.

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