Uber driver death in Rochdale: Trial begins of men accused of killing Ali Asghar in row over club

Uber driver death in Rochdale: Trial begins of men accused of killing Ali Asghar in row over club

Two drunk revellers beat an Uber driver to death after he dropped them off at a dessert bar instead of a similarly named nightclub, a murder trial has been told.

Connor McPartland, 20, and, Martin Treacy, 18, wanted a lift to Ko-Ko Lounge nightclub in Rochdale town centre in October last year.

But the pair instead ordered the Uber to Coco’s – a grill house and deserts bar on the outskirts of town and a mile away from their intended destination.

A court heard McPartland and Treacy became ‘angry’ at driver Ali Asghar following the mix up and a row broke out at a nearby petrol station.

Prosecutors allege the pair then unleashed a ‘ferocious, brutal and totally unforgiving attack’ on Mr Asghar.

The 38-year-old suffered a fractured skull during the incident and died in hospital two weeks later.

McPartland and Treacy, both of Oldham, both deny Mr Asghar’s murder and are on trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Treacy has admitted manslaughter but denies he intended to cause the taxi driver serious harm, the jurors were told.

McPartland also denies manslaughter and two counts of making threats with an offensive weapon.

Opening the case for the prosecution at Manchester Crown Court on Monday afternoon, Guy Gozem QC said Mr Asghar ‘had the misfortune’ of collecting the two defendants from Oldham town centre on Saturday, October 29, last year.

The two young men were ‘extremely drunk’ when they got into the back of Mr Asghar’s Mercedes at 4.30am, the jurors were told.

But the car stopped opposite a Shell garage on Queensway near Coco’s following an argument on board, according to the prosecutor.

The pair had wanted to be taken to Koko’s which was in the centre of Rochdale town centre, the court was told.

The jurors were told the argument woke one resident who was said to have heard one of the defendants shouting ‘come on then’ before she heard someone say ‘get the police, phone the police then’.

The resident reported hearing a banging noise and forensic analysis later matched a dent in Mr Asghar’s car door which left a mark which matched Mr McPartland’s trainers.

The prosecutor told the court: ‘Tragically, though, what was done to the car pales into insignificance, because once all three of them were out of the car, the argument all too soon became a ferocious, brutal and totally unforgiving attack by the two drunken young men on the taxi driver.

They broke bones in his face by punching or kicking him, then by pushing him over so that he fell and cracked his head, fracturing his skull.

‘All because of their unwillingness to accept that they had make a mistake. As a consequence of their attack, he suffered head and brain injuries that led to his death.’

A passing taxi driver tried to stop the attack but ‘his words of advice, his efforts to calm them down and stop their attack was like water off a duck’s back’, said Mr Gozem.

The QC continued: ‘They punched him to begin with. They threatened to stab him. He ran and they chased after him.

‘When he stumbled and fell over, they pounced on him, kicking him repeatedly to his head and body as he lay defenceless on the floor.’

The defendant McPartland is said to have attempted a martial arts move, a ‘spin kick’, but when a multitool fell out of his pocket he picked it up and shouted at Mr Asghar ‘I’m going to stab you!’, according to the prosecutor.

CCTV captured Mr Asghar running away but he stumbled and fell and the two defendants resumed their attack ‘kicking him in the head and the face’, said the QC.

The ‘peacemaker’ taxi driver who had arrived on the scene tried to intervene again but the two ‘were not for stopping’, the jurors were told.

When Mr McPartland then turned his attention to Mr Asghar’s car his alleged victim managed to get to his feet and tried to stop his taxi from being taken, the court was told.

But the attack continued and Mr Asghar fell again, his head striking the alloy wheel of his taxi, said Mr Gozem.

The Uber driver was heard to scream and one of the defendants was heard to say ‘come on, run, run, run’ before they were seen jogging away down Queensway.

Mr Asghar was taken to hospital but died two weeks later. His family wept in the public gallery as upsetting details of his injuries were read out to the court.

When police arrested Treacy, he was said to have told the officer: ‘Mate you can check the cameras he hit me first, I don’t give a f**k.

‘He hit me first, you can check the cameras, he will have cameras in his car, check that, he hit me first, I don’t give a fuck.’

Mr Gozem told the jurors: ‘You will get the chance to check the cameras and you won’t see what he suggested.’

The trial continues.

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