Detective tells murder trial how victim was 'unlikely’ to grip moving van

By Marion Brennan | West Bromwich | Crime | Published:

A police officer told a court it would be extremely unlikely for a man to have voluntarily gripped onto a moving van as it accelerated along a main road before he fell, suffering fatal head injuries.

Mohammed Miah

Mohammed Miah, from Tipton, was held to the moving Volkswagen by the strap of his shoulder bag by driver Paul Emmerson, aged 38, it is alleged.

The defendant claimed he was afraid of Mr Miah and trying to get away from him when he drove off along West Bromwich High Street with the victim holding onto the van.

However, Detective Constable Lance Pritchard told Birmingham Crown Court it would be ‘nigh on impossible’ for 22-year-old Mr Miah to voluntarily grip on to the van at its speed of up to 30mph.

In the moments before his death, the victim, described as very drunk, is captured on CCTV footage staggering into the middle of the high street waving his arms about and at one point falling over in the road.

He spoke to a group of people parked nearby for several minutes before approaching Emmerson’s van around the corner in George Street.

The two men were seen chatting, at first amicably with Emmerson of Kemp Road, Kitts Green, Birmingham, even passing him a whisky bottle.

But they appeared to fall out and Mr Miah is seen backing away from the van with his arms raised in the air.

Mr Abdullahi, who lives opposite, said he saw the men initially clasp hands and exchange the bottle between them but then heard Mr Miah shout: “I need more.”


He later heard ‘a loud shout and a bang and saw a man pop out onto the road’ before the van sped away.

Mr Abdullahi, who had been in bed, got dressed and rushed to the scene but others had already called for help.

He told police: “I was shocked, astonished and very upset by what I had seen.”

Under cross-examination, Det Con Pritchard, who analysed CCTV footage from several locations at the scene, said the strap of Mr Miah’s Adidas shoulder pouch is pulled from waist high up to his shoulder as the van moves away.


He said Mr Miah’s left arm had been holding the van window but as he struggled to keep up with the vehicle, and his legs were whipped from underneath him, his right hand also latched onto the van window.

Mr Miah died in hospital hours later.

Emmerson denies murder.

The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

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

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