Manhunt for attempted murder of cyclist ends as hit-and-run driver turns himself in
London man charged as a result of 2008 incident
A driver who nearly killed an Oxford cyclist in a hit and run incident in October 2008, sparking a manhunt that saw him described as one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, was due to appear in court today after giving himself up to police earlier this week.
Rohan Crooks, aged 33, has been charged with the offences of wounding with intent, reports the Oxford Mail. According to an appeal issued at the time by Thames Valley Police, the incident is believed to have started with an argument between two men outside a shop on Blackbird Leys Road, Oxford.
Shortly afterwards, a green Lexus, which police believe was driven by Crooks, hot a cyclist, assumed to be the other man involved in the argument, in nearby Cuddesdon Way, which resulted in the victim, described as a man in his 20s, being dragged 40 feet, and he would spend a month in hospital being treated for his injuries.
For more than two years now, Thames Valley Police have been trying to locate Crooks, who is said to have connections in London and Oxford, and their search ended on Tuesday morning when he gave himself up at a police station in Islington and was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
That is the same offence that police highlighted in their efforts to find him, which included an appeal on the BBC TV programme Crimewatch, his picture appearing in a feature in The Sun entitled Britain’s Most Wanted Criminals, and his receiving top billing last Christmas Eve on Thames Valley Police’s very own ‘Badvent’ calendar.
It’s not clear at the moment why Crooks has been charged with the two offences cited rather than attempted murder, the offence for which he was arrested. Wounding with intent can in some circumstances carry a life sentence, although Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance for the offence suggest that in these circumstances, a prison sentence of between four and six years might be applied, should Crooks plea – or be found – guilty.
Obviously, that could vary significantly and much will depend on the specific approach taken by the CPS in the case, as well as the specific factors of the case plus whether Crooks enters a guilty plea.
The second charge, that of causing bodily harm by wanton furious driving, although used rarely, can be brought in cases where bodily injury has been caused by the driver’s recklessness, and carries a sentence of two years.
We’ll try and clarify with the CPS and Thames Valley Police why Crooks has been charged with those specific offences and not attempted murder and bring you their response as soon as we are able to.
Last year, a 36-year-old man was jailed for life for murder after deliberately knocking down and killing a cyclist from Coventry following a road rage incident.