Bognor man accused of murdering 20-year-old in deliberate hit and run

Charlie Hancock

Charlie Hancock

First published in News
Last updated
by , Crime reporter

A 20-year-old was left dying in the road after a motorist deliberately ploughed into him and then drove off, a court was told.

Charlie Hancock was severely injured but still alive when Walter Brazil – who denies murder – drove off leaving him in the carriageway, Lewes Crown Court was told yesterday.

Mr Hancock was pronounced dead hours after the incident at about 10pm on May 13 last year.

Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said that at about the same time members of the public came across Mr Hancock, Brazil also dialled 999 from his home and said he had hit “an unknown person” but driven off because he had “panicked”.

Mr Bennetts said police visited his home, but before they turned up he put his clothes in the washing machine because “they smelled of cannabis”.

He added: “The prosecution say this is because they had blood on them and not for the reasons given by the suspect.”

Mr Bennetts said Brazil changed his story in face-to-face interviews with police and said he had been in his silver Chrysler Voyager with Mr Hancock in Rowan Way, Bognor, when “an argument ensued”.

He said when Brazil was interviewed he told police: “He [Charlie] punched me.

“Charlie then got out of the car, I turned in the road to drive home and Charlie stepped out in front of me.

“I panicked and came home and called police.”

Mr Bennetts said Brazil later added he had also punched Mr Hancock, from Pagham, near Bognor, inside the car and the argument between the two men “had come about from a drug deal the two had planned that evening that had not gone ahead”.

Brazil claimed Mr Hancock jumped from the car while it was travelling about 30mph – but Mr Bennetts said a forensic collision investigation said while it was possible Mr Hancock had jumped from car while it was moving, it was travelling more slowly.

The forensic report said Mr Hancock was in a crouched position when he fell back onto the bonnet of the car before being flung forward, hitting the road.

Brazil, 41, of Collyer Avenue, Bognor, is in custody. The trial continues.

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