Telford taxi driver attack killers detained

Published
Image source, West Mercia Police
Image caption,
John Cox (left) and Brandon Dowen had both denied manslaughter but were found guilty in a trial

Two men have been detained for killing a taxi driver who hit a tree trying to escape from them.

Brandon Dowen and John Cox punched and kicked Ishfaq Hussain, 51, wrongly thinking he had "propositioned" Dowen's girlfriend when asking for directions.

Mr Hussain tried to escape, driving off at high speed, but hit a tree and died in Ironbridge Road, Madeley, Telford.

Dowen, 19, of Telford, and Cox, 32, of Wolverhampton, were both detained for six years at Stafford Crown Court.

Both men had denied manslaughter but were found guilty in a trial.

The court heard how after Mr Hussain had asked Dowen's girlfriend for directions, Dowen, of Park Street, and Cox, of Harrowby Road, chased the taxi driver in a "high-speed pursuit".

Dowen then carried out a "repeated and sustained attack", punching and kicking the 51-year-old victim.

Image caption,
Mr Hussain's passenger was seriously hurt in the crash but has since recovered, police said

When Mr Hussain tried to escape Dowen and Cox by driving at high speed, he hit a tree, leaving him with multiple chest injuries.

Judge Michael Chambers QC said the pair had set out to "teach the deceased a lesson" after believing Dowen's girlfriend had been propositioned, adding he was "quite satisfied that was not actually the position".

Mr Hussain had suffered with a heart condition and the judge said he could not say if "fear or his heart problem caused the loss of control".

The judge added: "In my judgement it does not matter."

He concluded: "You each played different roles. You, Cox were clearly the driver and you, Dowen, were the one who assaulted."

Det Ch Insp Steve Tonks, from West Mercia Police, described Mr Hussain as a "hard-working taxi driver" who was "doing his job to support his family".

Mr Hussain's passenger was seriously hurt in the crash but has since recovered, police said.

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