A MAN accused of driving into people on a pavement, seriously injuring one, has denied intending to cause grievous bodily harm.

Liam Blackburn is accused of being at the wheel of a Ford Cougar car at the time of the collision, near Wheatley Hill Workingmen’s Club, on Quilstyle Road, Wheatley Hill, on Saturday February 19.

It is alleged that the car was reversed and then driven onto the pavement where a group of people were standing at the side of the road.

The car involved is said to have been burned out a short time after the collision.

Appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, via video link from the city’s nearby prison, where he is on remand, six charges were put to the defendant.

He denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, relating to the most seriously injured of the pedestrians, and doing an act tending or intended to pervert the course of justice, by setting fire to the Cougar.

A ‘not guilty’ plea was also put in to a charge of handling stolen goods, also relating to the car, which he claims to have bought a few days earlier.

But the 27-year-old defendant, of Trent Street, Easington Lane, admitted charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance, all arising from the incident.

A charge of attempted murder, initially facing the defendant, has since been dropped by the Crown.

Read more: County Durham man charged with attempted murder 

The case was adjourned for a trial to take place at the court on, or in the week of Tuesday July 26.

Judge Ray Singh adjourned the hearing for trial, of up to three days, starting on that day, but told the defendant, who was remanded to remain in custody, that he must submit his defence statement to the allegations to the court by June 3.

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