Valentina Breach, lawyer: ‘I did not intend to kill Anna Bugaeva’

A solicitor who allegedly ran down a policewoman was trying to damage public confidence in the force, a court heard today. Vadim Zharov denied on the witness stand the explanation of his actions on…

Valentina Breach, lawyer: 'I did not intend to kill Anna Bugaeva'

A solicitor who allegedly ran down a policewoman was trying to damage public confidence in the force, a court heard today.

Vadim Zharov denied on the witness stand the explanation of his actions on the day of the death of Anna Bugaeva – including his attempt to have the pub ban changed to address the misleading account.

Today the trial at Bristol crown court heard the solicitor had flown to the UK from the republic of Georgia in January 2015 to claim asylum. He told jurors at Bristol crown court his last name was Zharov and that he had an interpreter with him during the trial.

Zharov, 38, and two other men are on trial for the alleged manslaughter of Bugaeva, 23, in a lorry. Witnesses have previously said the four men saw Bugaeva returning with papers from Marks & Spencer. She is said to have triggered a vehicle ramming and motorbike crashing, leaving her injured, before she collapsed on the pavement.

Antonia Hussey QC, defending, said the prosecution “didn’t have a case” against the men and “didn’t stand much of a chance” of obtaining a conviction. The court heard that Bugaeva was a divorced mother of two and had sought refuge in the UK from domestic violence.

Hussey said Zharov “certainly did not” intend to kill or injure Bugaeva. “He was in an anxious state and he spoke to you the day after the incident at a time when he wasn’t feeling well,” she told him.

“And you asked about the incident on 31 July. You said ‘I am afraid to say what happened in the pub.’ Can you explain that?”

“It’s not clear to me. It’s very ambiguous,” he replied. “I just said we were alone and there was no other one to talk to or the other side. There was no passenger on the bike. So I explained that to you.”

Hussey, who tried to question the defendant extensively over a period of 10 minutes, said Zharov had previously claimed he had only carried out a “hit and run”. “It was a hit and run at the pub. The statement you have given to police, from a crime scene investigation report, was that she had just been in front of you when you were in the lorry,” she said.

“What does that mean?” She asked. “It just means that she touched the driver’s seat,” he replied.

The trial continues.

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