|BMW Driver: Petgrave|
A hit-and-run driver, caught on CCTV mounting the pavement and leaving a single-mum he struck wheelchair-bound, claims he was fleeing attack, a court heard yesterday.
Pascoe Petgrave, 21, was behind the wheel of a grey BMW at 4.30am when it ran over Chanelle Higgins, 31 and her friend Nakeesha Cox, who were walking home from a nightclub.
He reported the vehicle had been stolen to police over two weeks later, but now accepts he was driving the car in Norwood High Street, West Norwood.
Petgrave has pleaded not guilty at Inner London Crown Court to causing serious injury to Ms Higgins by dangerous driving on May 29, last year.
The women had just left Scandals nightclub when they were struck from behind by the diesel two-litre BMW.
She is not giving evidence, but was in court to hear prosecutor Mr. David Ryan tell the jury: “The injuries to Ms Higgins were catastrophic and life-changing.
“It was the early hours, 4.30am and the two ladies, one who is Ms Higgins, who is in court in a wheelchair, walked along the road on their way home.
“While walking on the pavement they were run over by this defendant, who was driving his vehicle along the pavement.
“There is no dispute the vehicle, this grey BMW, is this defendant’s.
“The car, after colliding with the girls did not stop, but continued on its way and disappeared.
|In Court: Channelle Higgins|
“Part of the prosecution case is that we have to show and prove there was serious injury caused to Ms Higgins and there were injuries to Ms Cox, but nowhere near the severity of those caused to Ms Higgins.”
On June 16, last year Petgrave walked into Brixton Police Station and reported the BMW stolen, but answered no more questions.
“The defendant’s case is that he was the driver and did collide with the two girls and did cause these serious injuries to Ms Higgins, but at the time was acting under duress.
“He is saying: ‘I was being threatened or about to be threatened. I drove off up the pavement because that’s the only thing I could do to escape serious injury or worse.’
“At no point ever did this defendant report this to the police.”
The jury were shown CCTV of the moment both women were run over. “This clip is quite shocking. What you can see there is this car continuing on the pavement.
“Ms Higgins is in the bottom right corner and Ms Cox is above and trying to get up to help her friend.”
Also captured on CCTV was an image of an unknown man with a wooden stick and another chasing Petgrave’s car.