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A Gidea Park man told a jury he has been falsely accused of attempted murder after someone wearing identical clothing to him drove the car he admits he was living in into a crowd of people in Romford.
Michael Fasan, 29, of Kidman Close, is on trial for attempted murder, driving whilst disqualified and driving dangerously following an incident in August last year.
He told the Old Bailey that after leaving Kosho nightclub in South Street at around 3am on August 19, he asked a woman for her number.
She said no and indicated that she had a boyfriend.
Later that night Mr Fasan had an argument with the woman’s friend, who he thought was her boyfriend.
He said: “Obviously my pride got the better of me. He was coming at me, he wanted to fight me.
“What reason have I got to shout at him? He’s the one who has got a problem with me. I’ve got no problem with him whatsoever.
“He’s taken his watch off, he was throwing abuse at me.”
Mr Fasan explained that he was wearing an Armani track suit with a red collar over a pair of light coloured trousers and a light shirt - an outfit that was identical to what the driver of the car wore.
He told jurors that the driver was a friend of a friend who he met outside a block of flats and that he couldn’t remember his name.
“He was a bit shorter than me. He was younger than me, around 24. Hair was a bit short,” said Mr Fasan.
“[His clothes] was basically the same as mine.”
The defendant said that there were two other people in the car with the driver when social media footage captured it driving into groups of people in Chandlers Way, but denies being one of them.
He said that following his argument with the man, he left the top part of his track suit in the Ford Focus along with his bag and threw the bottom part of his track suit into a bin in Chandlers Way. He then re-entered the car and sat in the front passenger seat.
“There was nothing wrong with [the clothes],” said Mr Fasan.
“I thought police were coming so I took my track suit bottoms off and threw them into the bin.
“At the time I was worried because me and [the man were] having an altercation. Police are always lurking in that area.”
At this point in proceedings, jury members passed a note to the judge, questioning why Mr Fasan would be wearing two full layers of clothing to go clubbing on a warm August night.
He claimed he always went out wearing two full layers of clothing.
The defendant then told jurors that the man who he had argued with threw a brick that smashed the rear window of the car - which the court was told had no registered owner.
Mr Fasan struggled to answer prosecutor Michelle Nelson’s questions about whether he thought the driver deliberately chased the man.
“Deliberately or not I don’t know. I didn’t see no one get run over,” said Mr Fasan.
“[The screams] could be exaggerated. Females exaggerate screaming. That’s what they do.
“I saw it following [the man] - I wouldn’t say chasing him. To me it wasn’t driving at speed so it wasn’t chasing them.
“I just thought the car was driving erratically. If the car had been chasing [the man] then why did people have to jump out of the way? It doesn’t make sense.”
The 29-year-old claimed that his DNA was later found in the Ford Focus because for a few days he had lived in the car.
On the night of the incident, his friends dropped him off at a Travelodge where he had also been staying.
When interviewed by the police after his arrest, Mr Fasan handed over a prepared statement in which he denied being the driver of the car and said that he would be exercising his right to silence.
Prosecutor Nelson questioned the defendant as to why he hadn’t mentioned changing his clothing in his defence statement.
Mr Fasan responded: “I’m telling the truth. I just didn’t mention bits of it. I didn’t think it was important at that time.
“You can’t put attempted murder on me.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about - any attempted murder.”
The trial continues.