West Bromwich murder accused had 'propensity to violence'

By Marion Brennan | Tipton | Crime | Published:

A motorist charged with killing a pedestrian after dragging him attached to his van until he fell into the road suffering fatal injuries had 'a propensity to violence', a jury heard.

The Prince of Wales pub, on the corner of George Street and High Street, West Bromwich. Picture: Google

Paul Emmerson, 38, who denies murdering Mohammad Miah after an apparent fall-out in West Bromwich town centre, had a previous conviction for arson when one of his victims was left with life-changing burns, it was said.

Mr Michael Duck, QC, prosecuting, said the similarities in the case were 'telling', showing the defendant taking violent action after losing his temper in the face of only a 'moderate challenge'.

Emmerson was convicted in 2008 of arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, after returning home to find a group of men sitting in a car outside his property whom he feared may be about to commit a burglary at the premises.

He spoke to them and when not satisfied with their responses, fetched a can of petrol and a blow torch from his garage, poured the fuel through an open back window and set fire to the vehicle. Two men escaped unhurt but a third suffered serious burns.

Mr Duck said of the defendant: "He is a man with a quick temper who has a propensity to violence. The violence he used was disproportionate."

The Birmingham Crown Court jury was shown CCTV footage of 22-year-old Mr Miah approaching Emmerson's van, parked outside The Prince of Wales in George Street, in the early hours of March 17, and the two men initially having an apparently friendly conversation.

But during a second encounter, Mr Miah, from Tipton, who had been drinking heavily, is seen being pulled against the van through the driver's open window by the shoulder strap of his bag, almost toppling him.

When the van starts to move, he initially walks alongside it but then Emmerson accelerates into the High Street, with CCTV footage showing Mr Miah being dragged along. After 150 yards, he falls into the road, suffering catastrophic head injuries.

Emmerson, of Kemp Road, Stechford, Birmingham, claims he felt threatened by Mr Miah.

The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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