Father died 'in road rage attack after being punched and kicked by gang in front of son'Johnny Assani was left lying unconscious and bleeding in the roadHis 16-year-old son was allegedly punched when he tried to help his fatherTwo brothers, Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rafiq, already convictedA third is on trial at the moment after hiding in Birmingham and Bradford
20:56 GMT, 29 November 2012
A motorist died of his injuries after he was punched and kicked by a gang of men in front of his teenage son.
Johnny Assani, 43, died of his injuries in hospital after he was left lying bleeding and unconscious in a road in Derby.
His 16-year-old son Mukhaila Assani, was also allegedly punched by some of the men when he tried to drag the attackers off his father.
Victim: Johnny Assani was kicked and punched by a group of men and died of his injuries in hospital the next day
Giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court, Mukhaila said: ‘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 added: ‘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 me 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.
Two brothers, Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rafiq have already been convicted of killing Mr Assani.
Incident: Police officers and teams of forensics raid a house on Walbrook Road where Mr Assani was attacked
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 heard.
The 26-year-old, from Derby, who denies manslaughter, was arrested almost six months after the attack, in February.
Mr Assani was attacked at around 3pm on Sunday, August 14 last year, after an incident involving his and Shahid’s car as they were driving.
Mr Assani’s silver VW Golf was in front of Shahid’s white BMW but when Shahid turned left, 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.
Two brothers, Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rafiq have already been convicted of killing Mr Assani and a third is on trial at the moment
Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the court that Mr Assani got out of his car to speak to the driver of the BMW, Shahid, while his son Mukhaila remained in the vehicle.
The two men started arguing and Shahid shouted towards his house, calling for back-up.
A man came out of the house, jogged over to Mr Assani and punched him, knocking him to the ground.
Mr Joyce said: ‘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.
One man hung back and delivered a final kick to Mr Assani’s head and walked off smiling, said Mr Joyce.
M Joyce 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 told the court that Mr Assani was killed by members of the Khan family, including Shahid, Rafiq and Tarip together with other men.
After the attack, Ellen Shreeve, who lived nearby and had seen the commotion from her house, 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.
The case continues.