9 Apr 2009

Road attack accused reappears in court

3:14 pm on 9 April 2009

A man accused of an assault on an elderly motorist in Auckland has appeared in court for the second time and been remanded in custody.

Jasmatbhai Patel, 78, suffered critical head injuries during the apparent road rage incident which occurred after a minor crash in Mt Albert on Tuesday morning.

Police say the driver of a car pulled Mr Patel from his van outside the Unitech Campus in Carrington Road.

Bio O'Brien, 27, a student, appeared in Auckland District Court charged with assault and will reappear on 27 April. Police say further charges are likely.

Mr Patel's family was with him when he died in Auckland Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. His death is now the subject of a homicide inquiry.

Mr Patel's grandson, Mukesh Patel, paid tribute to a man who always supported his family and taught them the virtue of hard work.

He said Mr Patel encouraged his grandchildren and often cared for them grandchildren while their parents were working.

Mukesh Patel described his grandfather as someone who was always prepared to help others.