March 13, 2018 01:04:11by

Brother 'tried to kill his own sister by mowing her down with car'

Brother \'tried to kill his own sister by mowing her down with car\'

A brother tried to kill his own sister by running over her with his car after a 'blazing row' over a selfie at the family home, a court heard.

Carmelo Pappalardo is alleged to have used his car 'as a weapon' to deliberately drive into his sister Anna Sciara following an argument.

The impact sent her flying into the air and she spent six weeks in hospital, suffering multiple fractures to her pelvis, hairline fractures of her ribs, and internal bleeding.

Jurors at St Albans Crown court heard Mr Pappalardo, 57, then sped away from the scene, and abandoned his car.

Mrs Sciara, 54, said the row erupted because her brother refused to allow her and her sister, Rita Pappalardo, to take a picture with their father Salvatore, who is in his 80s and has dementia.

Jurors were told the two sisters' relationship with their brother had turned 'cold' because they weren't happy with the care Salvatore was receiving from an agency he hired.

After the row at the father's home in Hoddeson, Hertfordshire in April last year, Mrs Sciara told the court she was waiting to be picked up by a friend when she saw her brother's Blue Fiat 600 at a T junction.

But instead of turning at the junction, she said there was a 'screeching' of its tyres as it reversed, before turning into the road where she was standing between two parked cars.

Mrs Sciara said the car came towards her travelling in the centre of the road.

'There was one driver and that driver was Carmelo,' she said, adding that the car was making a lot of noise. 'It was the sound of a foot being put down, as if you are making the car go faster than it wants to go,' she said.

She went on: 'I looked and we locked eyes.'

Mrs Sciara told the court her brother had an 'aggressive' look and his face was red. 'I saw the eyes,' she said.

'The car came straight at me. I heard this noise in my left ear. It was like a whoosh sound.'

She said she heard the sound of glass being 'shattered' and went on: 'I think I lost consciousness. I felt as if I was lifted. My legs had gone from underneath. There wasn't time for me to move.

'I couldn't have gone anywhere with the speed of the car. You look and you are like a rabbit in the headlights,' she said.

Earlier jurors were told the two sisters had visited their father on that day to meet the boss of another agency, but found their brother there. 

Mrs Sciara said she heard her brother say in an 'aggressive' tone: 'What are they doing here?'

She told the court she went into the kitchen with their father, who asked for a selfie with them, but she said brother Mr Pappalardo became aggressive.

She said: 'He didn't want us to have a photo of our own dad. He made it quite clear and it all got a bit heated.      

'We said "It's not your home, you don't dictate here," I said "I have got a right to a picture with my dad and my sister. That's my flesh and blood".'

The sister told the jury that their brother had put up lots of photos on the walls showing himself and his own family with Salvatore, which she described as being 'wall to wall.' 

As the argument continued, Mrs Sciara said her brother became abusive and hurled insults at Rita and made derogatory remarks about her family.

She told jurors: 'He lunged forward at her to get at her throat. He put his hand on her throat and shoved her against the wall. 

He said "I am going to f***ing kill you" I said "You have got to go through me before you do anything to my sister"'

Mrs Sciara said her brother had hold of Rita by the throat for 'a few seconds' before releasing his grip and turning to her and saying 'You'll have yours coming.'

She said she was frightened and, moments later, she and her sister left the maisonette.

The jury heard Rita Pappalardo drove away in her car, but Mrs Sciara left on foot because she planned to meet her cousin in a nearby street.  

The prosecutor said following the collision, Mr Pappalardo left his sister lying in the road and drove six miles to the village of Bayford where he abandoned the car in a car park, threw away the keys and caught a bus home. 

Prosecutor James Lofthouse told the court 'We say this was deliberate, using the car as a weapon. He intended to kill Anna Sciara.

'They had a blazing row in the father's home just minutes earlier,' he said, adding 'It's that which caused him to form the intention to kill her.'

He said despite a claim by the brother after his arrest that it had been an accident, an investigation of the collision scene by police concluded that the Fiat had been steered into a gap between parked cars when it hit Mrs Sciara.

Mr Lofthouse said investigators worked out the car had been travelling at between 15 and 21 miles per hour when it struck Mrs Sciara in the area of her hip and sending her flying into the air.

Mr Pappalardo, of Hatfield Broad Oak near Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, has pleaded not guilty to attempting to murder his sister, causing her grievous bodily harm with intent, battery of his sister Rita and doing an act intending to pervert the course of public justice by throwing away the car keys.

The trial continues.