Passenger who ran over a taxi driver is jailed for life


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Mar 5, 2006
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A drunken taxi passenger who attacked the elderly driver then ran him over with his own cab was jailed for life yesterday after being convicted of murder.

Luke Aujila attacked Chand Bajar, 71, after an argument over a fare in Gravesend, Kent, on May 23 last year. He left him with dozens of injuries all over his body.

Mr Bajar, a father of five, was tended to by residents who heard the commotion, but died in hospital from multiple head injuries later that night.

David Rouse, a forensic pathologist, told Maidstone Crown Court that Mr Bajar had suffered 39 injuries, including fractures to his pelvis, ribs and a broken leg and hip joint. The injuries were typical of crushing by a motor vehicle.

Aujila, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder, saying that there had been no murderous intent behind his actions because he was too drunk. The jury, however, found him guilty of murder after deliberating for more than 13 hours.

Judge Andrew Patience, QC, said that Aujila had taken advantage of a gentle mild-mannered man. He told him: “What you did was cold, callous and cruel. In short it was utterly wicked. When you were both out of that taxi you deliberately punched Mr Bajar. You then decided to steal his taxi and in order to get out of that avenue you deliberately drove over his body as he lay on the road.”

The judge told him that he would spend 20 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

Mr Bajar was described by his family as a “good Samaritan” who had come to Britain from the Punjab,where he had worked for the Civil Service. In Gravesend he had become the chairman of the local Sikh temple.