Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Goody husband accused of assault

Jack Tweed
Jack Tweed is accused of attacking a taxi driver

The husband of reality television star Jade Goody has appeared in court accused of attacking and threatening a taxi driver in Essex.

Prosecutors told Epping Magistrates' Court that Jack Tweed, 21, of Buckhurst Hill, lost his temper after leaving a club in May 2008.

They said he grabbed the driver around the neck while the car was moving and swore at him.

Mr Tweed recently married Ms Goody, who has terminal cancer. He denies assault.

Taxi driver Stephen Wilkins told magistrates that Mr Tweed and three other people climbed into his cab at about 0330 GMT on 5 May last year.

The driver told the group that it was illegal for him to carry four people in the rear seat.

"Their response was 'just drive', so we carried on driving," Mr Wilkins said.

He got hold of me with his arm, pulled his arm around my neck
Stephen Wilkins

He then said he asked them to pay the fare "upfront" in line with his firm's policies and he explained that if it was not paid, he would have to return to Epping.

The man behind the driver started swearing asking where he was going, he said.

"He got hold of me with his arm. Pulled his arm around my neck and held it against the headrest.

"He was leaning over me, over the back seat, with his face alongside my face screaming. He was so, so aggressive."

'Power struggle'

He threatened to stab the driver, the court heard.

Mr Wilkins said Mr Tweed had his fist clenched and they tussled for control of the handbrake as the car travelled at about 50mph.

"He [the second man] just kept shouting out, 'News of the World. Jack Tweedy. News of the World. Jack Tweedy'."

"We were in the middle of the road. I was feeling very scared. We were in this power struggle. He was trying to pull the handbrake up, I am trying to push it down."

Mr Wilkins said he managed to pull the car on to the grass verge and a short time later one of his colleagues pulled alongside and the police were called.

The case continues.

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Jack Tweed arrives for his appearance at Epping Magistrates' Court



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