Man threw girlfriend from van at 60mph then claimed she’d jumped, jury told

A woman suffered serious brain injuries when she was kidnapped by her boyfriend before being thrown from a van travelling at around 60mph, a court heard.

The 19-year-old suffered a fractured skull leaving her unable to communicate after the incident on the A6 in September 2020.

Leicester Crown Court was told she rolled 49 metres along the surface and was airlifted to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre

Her injuries were so severe she has not been able to say what happened to her.

The jury was told she rolled 49 metres – the equivalent of about half the length of a football pitch – along the surface of the A6, near Mountsorrel, around 10.45am on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Chay Bowskill, 20, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm to his then girlfriend, by allegedly throwing her from the van on the Loughborough-bound side of the carriageway.

He claims the young woman, who is from Loughborough, jumped from the vehicle of her own accord and caused her injuries herself.

Bowskill is also accused of kidnapping his girlfriend shortly before she was injured, by allegedly bundling her into a silver-coloured transit van.

The vehicle was driven away by his co-accused, 20-year-old Rocco Sansome, the crown court heard yesterday.

Bowskill, of Empingham Drive, Syston, and Sansome, of Wanlip Lane, Birstall, both deny kidnap.

Bowskill also denies ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’ during his relationship with the woman and a charge of perverting the course of justice.

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court the injured woman was taken by air ambulance to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre and is unable to make a statement about the incident.

Mr Janes told the jury: “The prosecution say she’d been thrown from a moving van by Mr Bowskill.”

The prosecutor claimed the incident on the A6 was the culmination of Bowskill’s control and coercion during their relationship, causing the alleged victim to fear violence would be used against her.

Mr Janes said the woman’s mental health had already been affected by Bowskill’s behaviour, adding: “He was jealous of who she spoke to on the phone and via social media and was jealous of the attention she received from others.”

On the morning of the alleged incident, Mr Janes said the woman was initially driving the transit van with both defendants as front seat passengers. A third passenger was dropped off at a public house in Rothley.

At one point, Mr Janes said, Bowskill allegedly criticised his girlfriend’s driving and told her to pull over.

She got out of the vehicle, crossed the road and walked off, near Hilltop Garage, and Sansome moved into the driver’s seat.

CCTV footage, played in court, showed Bowskill running up behind the woman, putting both arms around her to pick her up “like a piece of baggage” and carrying her back to the van.

The prosecutor told the jury: “You can’t do that. It’s unlawful, it’s kidnap – it’s the unlawful removal of a person by force. She’d left and was walking away.”

In another clip, as the vehicle crossed the garage forecourt the woman could be seen in the front seat, between the two men, with Bowskill next to the passenger door.

Mr Janes alleged that Sansome – who is accused only in relation to the alleged kidnap – was aware of what was happening and drove off “almost before the passenger door was closed.”

The van then joined the A6 towards Loughborough. Mr Janes said: “We say Mr Bowskill threw her from the van.

“She made contact with the white lines [between the two lanes].

“The transit was in the fast, overtaking, lane travelling at the best part of 60mph and anyone who did that [throw her out] must have had the intention of causing serious injury.

“The van pulled over in a layby and they went back to where she was laying in the road.”

Other motorists stopped to help and the emergency services attended.

The prosecutor continued: “Mr Bowskill was suggesting to people at the scene that she’d jumped out of her own volition, by choice, and that it wasn’t down to him.

“That remains his case, that she jumped out and caused her own injuries. If you conclude that did happen, you will acquit him of that count.

“You may ask yourself what would possess her to jump?”

The prosecutor said their destination had been the Ling Road area of Loughborough which was “not far away.”

In interview, Bowskill denied kidnapping her or pushing or throwing her out of the van.

Mr Janes said: “He said they argued pretty much every day, over little things, but she gave as good as she got.

“He said they’d argued on that same day and the last thing he said to her was that he hated her.”

Sansome, in interview, denied involvement in the kidnapping and also maintained the young woman had jumped out of the van.

No detailed medical evidence has yet been presented in court, but officer in the case Detective Constable Emma Bee told the jury: “She’s not mentally able to make a statement, she cannot communicate.”