Man run over four times embroiled in row over £40,000, murder trial told

The car park to the rear of Iceland in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham, where John Avers was killed

The car park to the rear of Iceland in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham, where John Avers was killed - Credit: Google

A former businessman allegedly run over by a BMW was embroiled in a row with the men charged over £40,000, a court has heard.

“Distressing” CCTV showed John Avers, 47, being crushed under the wheels of the car reportedly being driven by Bobby Ternent as his father Gary Ternent held him down.

Mr Avers, heard screaming in the footage shown to jurors at the Old Bailey, died at the scene of the incident which took place in a Dagenham car park on September 13 2020.

In trial proceedings which got underway last week, jurors heard how the 47-year-old died due to "catastrophic injuries" suffered after being run over in the Iceland car park on Whalebone Lane South.

Jurors heard how Bobby Ternent, 32, allegedly changed his clothes outside his home following the incident before burning the BMW X6 which had false plates.

The father and son were reportedly heard talking about what had happened on CCTV later on.

It was claimed the younger Ternent said “he might be crippled”, to which his 59-year-old father replied: “Right, we gone over him three times.”

Following his arrest, the 32-year-old admitted running over his long-standing friend Mr Avers in a row over £40,000 reportedly tied to drugs.

He claimed Mr Avers accused him of handing the money back “short", before threatening to kill his wife and children.

Prosecutor William Emlyn Jones QC suggested that whatever the truth, having a row over money and being threatened was not a defence to murder.

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He said: “If Bobby Ternent deliberately ran over John Avers as he appears to admit he did, and as we can see anyway from the CCTV that he did, the prosecution say that makes him guilty of murder.”

The defendants - both of Movers Lane in Barking - each deny the charge.

Opening the trial on January 5, Mr Emlyn Jones QC said the victim had been picked up by the defendants in Wood Lane late on September 13 before being driven to the car park.

Mr Emlyn Jones QC said: “What happened in the Iceland car park is that Bobby and Gary Ternent murdered John Avers by deliberately driving that BMW X6 straight at him, running him over.

“With Bobby Ternent at the wheel, and Gary Ternent holding John Avers down on the ground in front of the car, John Avers was run over once, then Bobby Ternent spun the car around and ran over him again.

“Gary Ternent then ran to join his son in the car before they then ran their victim over a third time – and a fourth time."

The QC claimed the pair drove away when "satisfied that they had done enough damage".

Before playing footage of the incident, the prosecutor warned jurors the evidence made for “distressing viewing”.

He went on: "There is no dispute about who you can see. There is no issue in this case that the two people there with John Avers were the two defendants."

A post-mortem examination undertaken in the aftermath of Mr Avers' death found he had suffered multiple injuries from being crushed by the car, including fractures to the skull, sternum, pelvis, left thigh and 22 ribs.

Mr Emlyn Jones suggested Mr Avers was not a “big time villain” but had been a “very successful businessman”.

Previously, he ran a sash windows carpentry company and lived in a million-pound house, jurors heard

When his business went downhill, he sold his home, his marriage fell apart and he turned to drink and drugs, the court was told.

Mr Emlyn Jones said that on the night of his death, Mr Avers texted his ex-wife: “I’m going to get your house back.”

The trial continues.