Bristol Brain Injury Claim
A city taxi driver has walked free from court after being found not guilty of wanton and furious driving causing actual bodily harm, following an incident in which a 19-year-old passenger was left with massive head injuries.
Grant Parfitt from Hengrove in Bristol was returning from a night out with friends, on December 23rd last year, when he exited a moving taxi driven by Yasif Al Kouraishi. Today a jury at Bristol Crown Court, before His Honour Judge Roach returned a not guilty verdict.
The court heard how in the early hours of 23rd December, Mr Al Kourashi had picked up a group of six passengers, including Mr Parfitt. At one point, as the taxi proceeded along Silver Street in Broadmead, the passenger door opened and Mr Parfitt exited the taxi whilst it was still travelling at speed. Mr Parfitt suffered massive head injuries, which left him in a coma for four weeks.
On 30th December Mr Parfitt's condition deteriorated further and he underwent a bi-frontal craniectomy in order to relieve pressure on his brain, a procedure that involved removing a section of his skull to prevent further brain damage.
On February 8th he was transferred to the Brain Injury Unit at Frenchay Hospital where his condition has slowly improved and he has regained the ability to walk. Mr Parfitt was finally discharged home in September, some nine months following the accident.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Grants sister, Haley Parfitt (22) said: "We are very disappointed by the verdict and do not feel justice has been done today.
"The past 11 months have been a roller coaster of emotions for us all. We know we are very fortunate that Grant survived and is still with us today. He has surprised us all with his determination to recover but he will never be the same person as before. Last year we didn't have a Christmas as Grant was on life support. We are just thankful that Grant will be at home this year to spend Christmas with us all."
Brain Injury Lawyer
Annette Ginns, a solicitor with Irwin Mitchell, who is representing Mr Parfitt and his family said: "The trial uncovered much of what happened that fateful night and the family are grateful to the police for their thorough investigation of the case and the compassionate way they have liaised with them. It is not clear why Mr Al Kouraishi reacted as he admitted that he did and the family are understandably disappointed with today's verdict.
"Grant had gone out with friends that evening, having finished work for the Christmas holidays. The phone call from police in the early hours of the morning, which any parent dreads, informed Janet Parfitt that her son was in a critical condition and fighting for his life. She and the family spent their entire Christmas and New Year by Grant's bedside and the following weeks and months visiting him in rehab throughout his slow and painstaking recovery.
"Although both his family and the medical team, who have cared tirelessly for Grant, are pleased with the progress he has made so far, nevertheless he remains severely impaired as a result of the injuries he sustained on 23rd December.
"Today's verdict has little bearing on the separate civil claim for damages, which I can confirm Mr Parfitt's family have instructed me to pursue against the defendants insurers."