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Jury shown George Tapp injury footage

GRAPHIC video evidence of anti-blacklisting campaigners being carried on the bonnet of an accelerating car was shown to a jury in Manchester crown court yesterday. 

It was filmed during a protest against blacklisting outside Manchester City football club’s training ground on the evening of May 15 last year. 

Michael Collins, 20, was driving the car involved in the incident which left 64-year-old Unite activist and anti-blacklisting campaigner George Tapp with severe leg injuries and a fractured skull.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. 

Mr Tapp, who suffered leg injuries which the jury heard had needed metal pins inserting and specialist treatment, gave evidence. 

Still not fully recovered from his injuries, he walked to the witness stand with the aid of a stick and was allowed to sit while giving evidence. 

The video showed a Ford Ka driven by the defendant drive up to demonstrators handing out anti-blacklisting leaflets, then edge forward, and suddenly accelerate, carrying three protesters trapped on his bonnet. 

One fell off almost immediately. Mr Tapp and a second were carried between 100 and 150 metres before the car broke when Mr Tapp was hurled onto the concrete road. 

The car reversed, pulled around him, and drove off. 

Mr Tapp told the court that he had his back to the vehicle but heard a car revving up and felt it strike the back of his calf. 

He remembered he “went forward onto the bonnet” as it began to move then “and grabbed hold of the windscreen central pivot.”

“I could feel the air being sucked into the engine,” he told the court.

“My chest was on the bonnet. I looked up and the driver and passenger were laughing at that stage.”

Unite organiser Laura Gleeson said demonstrators were handing leaflets to car drivers when she heard a car revving and turned around. 

She remembered: “The car was pushing against the guy standing in front of it and there were people shouting ‘stop, stop, stop. What are you doing'."

Unite organiser Nick Cairns added: “My impression was that George Tapp had no opportunity to get out of the way.”

The case is proceeding. 

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