Israr Ellahi inquest: Street fight youths 'were struck by car'
A MOTORIST deliberately crashed into a gang of youths during an evening of violence which ended in a man suffering fatal head injuries, an inquest heard.
A coroner's verdict into the death of 30-year-old Israr Ellahi, of Stanley Street, Tunstall, is expected to be delivered on Monday.
Mr Ellahi, pictured below, died in hospital 13 days after a disturbance on Roundwell Street, Tunstall, on June 18, 2010.
Yesterday the inquest into the mechanic's death – which is being held at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court – was told of a series of altercations leading to a street brawl where the father-of-three suffered a fatal punch.
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In October last year four youths – Danny Munro, Rian Winspare, Lewis Gilpin and Joshua Taylor who were all teenagers at the time – were sentenced to youth custody for their roles in the brawl.
Taylor, who was handed a 21-month sentence for violent disorder, told the inquest he was left stunned after seeing a Ford Mondeo deliberately drive into a group of youths.
He said: "It came down Roundwell Street at some speed and swerved onto the pavement and hit the people that were there.
"It hit Lewis and a girl who was in the group.
"It did hit some other people but I can't remember who. It then just carried on going."
"Lewis seemed to have a leg injury and he was limping.
"The situation got heated because of what happened and there seemed to be even more confrontations and shouting going on."
A Volkswagen Golf containing Mr Ellahi's brother Isbar and his friend Shafiq Mohammed then arrived at the scene.
Taylor said: "They attempted to get out but Danny Munro attempted to stop them by kicking at the door.
"I was still on the opposite side of the road as I was concerned for my own welfare.
"I did see Israr on the ground but I do not know how he got there."
During an interview with police Gilpin, whose sister had two children with Mr Ellahi, also claimed he did not see who delivered the punch.
Witnesses claimed Munro delivered the blow which knocked Mr Ellahi too the ground.
But Munro, who is currently serving a 33-month sentence, denied hitting him.
He told the inquest he had spent the evening with friends watching an England World Cup game before heading into Tunstall.
Police say that during the evening Munro had punched a worker in the Tiger Bite kebab shop.
Munro, now aged 20, said: "I was with a lot of people that night but nobody in particular.
"I told the police about the car hitting the group and I wouldn't say I was angry but at the time I didn't think they were doing anything about it."
Munro refused to answer any questions over the altercation following legal advice.
During an interview with police he claimed he had his arms held behind his back while he was punched in the back of the head.
He said: "I have fully cooperated with the police.
"The statement I provided was a full and accurate account and I have nothing further to say. At no point did I assault Israr Ellahi."
The inquest in expected to reach a decision on Monday after five days of hearings.