Richard Spillett, Daily Mail, November 15, 2018
A disabled man who used his mobility scooter as a ‘battering ram’ to knock over two elderly women on the pavement has been jailed for two years.
Aaron Ali, 40, reversed over Doris Collins, 88, and Joan Benjafield, 90, while they were out shopping in Welling, south-east London.
Shocking CCTV footage shows Ali driving off a number 96 bus on June 14 this year before suddenly reversing into his victims.
He was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm after a two day trial at Southwark Crown Court in September and was handed a jail term today.
Prosecutors have since applied to confiscate Ali’s £12,000 wheelchair, claiming it is a weapon.
Victims Mrs Collins suffered cuts to her knee while Mrs Benjafield was left with bruises to her calf and ribs after the two women toppled onto the pavement.
Describing the incident, prosecutor Mr Dean said: ‘He hits the old lady nearest the kerb. She hits the ground.
‘Ali stops and goes forward a short distance. Believe it or not he reverses again. The other lady is struck in exactly the same manner. She falls on the other lady.’
Ali was also found guilty of harassing two jewellers in Woolwich in another incident in July 2017.
Roger Daniells-Smith, defending, said of his mobility scooter: ‘The inmates at Wandsworth prison have been playing with it. They have been mucking about with it and it has been damaged.’
Former psychiatric nurse Ali claimed he suffered a ‘diabetic crash’ before the incident, but he was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He told the court: ‘That day I was not feeling well. I was having a diabetic crash. That was what was happening. Basically, I am on morphine, a 116 milligrams a day.
‘Sometimes you would be moving and you would feel like you are sitting. I would knock thing over. It makes you clumsy like a drunk.
‘I was scared people were going to attack me thinking I had done it on purpose. I drove in the opposite direction I was going in.’
The judge, Ms Recorder Emma Goodall told Ali: ‘You are assessed as having a high likelihood of reoffending and of being a danger to the public.
‘This was disgraceful conduct that could have had serious and long lasting consequences.
‘It is nothing short of remarkable that those two ladies were not more seriously injured.’
The judge declined to make an order to confiscate the wheelchair today, as Ali will depend on it upon release from prison.