Bristol taxi driver on trial for attempted murder

The Bristol post reports a taxi driver inflicted a terrifying attack on his ex-wife in which she thought she would die, a jury has heard.

Mourad Tighilt was charged with attempted murder after the incident – but psychiatrists have agreed he is suffering from mental illness and is unfit to either plead or stand trial.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court were told today that they had to decide whether the 47-year-old, of no fixed address, did the act alleged.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, told the jury Tighilt is too unwell to stand trial and their duty was to decide if he was responsible for inflicting injuries on his wife and was attempting to kill her.

Mr Posner said it was in June last year that Tighilt, a former secretary of the Bristol branch of the National Taxi Association, drove from Nailsea to his former matrimonial home in Bishopsworth, and smothered and pummelled his ex-wife Joanna in her bedroom.

The court heard the attack stopped when one of Mrs Tighilt’s children came into her bedroom, and she called police.

Her ex-husband was arrested shortly afterwards, telling police he had attacked his wife and had heard a female voice in his head.

Mr Posner told the jury: “He said the voice encouraged him to attack and kill his wife.

“He presented as perplexed and distressed.”

The jury watched a video recording in which a bruised Mrs Tighilt gave an emotional account of her ordeal.

Fighting back tears, she said: “I’d gone to bed and I was being attacked.

“There were hands ’round my throat and pillows were put on my face.

“I couldn’t move my hands properly and I was struggling and struggling.

“I couldn’t get free. It was going on and on and on, the pillows, the struggling.

“At one point I managed to get my head out from under the pillows.

“I was trying to get up.

“There was just this pain. I was being punched until I went back down.”

Mrs Tighilt said she tried to fight her attacker off but she couldn’t move.

She said: “It just went on and on. I thought I was going to die.”

She told the jury it was only when one her son’s came to her room and shouted “Stop, stop doing that!” when the attack stopped.

She said: “I didn’t know who it was. It was just, like, a grey figure, so big and ominous.

“It wasn’t like a person. It was a person’s figure.”

She described how every time she tried to fight back she was punched “bam, bam, bam” and fell back.

She said: “I was grabbing something. It didn’t feel like flesh.”

The case continues.