Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Former Blue star 'punched driver'

Former Blue star 'punched driver'

Former boy band singer Lee Ryan punched a taxi driver in the head in a "road rage" attack in Surrey on New Year's Eve, it has been alleged in court.

The ex-Blue star is accused of hitting Naeem Ibrahim up to three times during an argument, after Mr Ryan's fiancee drove into Mr Ibrahim's cab.

The 25-year-old denies the attack and had been due to stand trial.

However, the case was delayed because Mr Ibrahim was in India and could not attend Redhill Magistrates Court.

An application by the singer's lawyer to have the case dismissed was rejected by magistrates.

Prosecution case

The court heard how an argument started because Lee Ryan became aggressive after being asked for the driver's details following the crash.

Patrick Oven, outlining the prosecution case, claimed Mr Ryan was "immediately unhelpful" and punched Mr Ibrahim on to his car leaving him "shocked and dazed".

A passenger in the taxi claims Mr Ryan then punched the driver three more times in the side of the head after Mr Ibrahim had pushed him back.

Defence case

Raymond Lewis, defending Mr Ryan, told the court his client punched Mr Ibrahim once in self-defence.

When details of his arrest were made public, Mr Ryan was sacked from a "prime-time" ITV Saturday night show in which he was due to appear in six episodes, Mr Lewis told the court.

Chair of the Bench Marie Jeffrey adjourned the case for a further hearing on 15 May when a new trial date will be set.

Mr Ryan pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault at a previous hearing.


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