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Councillor Nilgun Canver offered to pay off man injured in son's car crash
A politician tried to buy a man’s silence after her son crashed into him while driving the family car without insurance, a court heard.
Today was the first day of the trial of Councillor Nilgun Canver who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Haringey Borough Council’s former cabinet member for environment is accused of lying to the police about a car accident in which her son was involved.
Stavros Oikonomou, 24, was hit, while walking along Seven Sisters Road, in Tottenham, by the BMW her son was driving, shortly after midnight.
He told the jury at Wood Green Crown Court that he saw a car cross the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic.
It then mounted the curb, drove over a bollard and hit his left leg and grazed his right leg before hitting a lamppost near the junction between Seven Sisters Road and Elizabeth Road.
Mr Oikonomou said he was “spun around” by the impact but stayed on his feet.
The 24-year-old then said a man got out of the car, locked it and left the scene.
Mr Oikonomou, who lives in Tottenham called his brother who drove to the scene to wait for the police to arrive.
According to the witness, before the police arrived Cllr Canver and a white-haired man arrived at the scene 20 minutes later and started looking around the crashed BMW.
The 24-year-old waited in his brother’s car in Elizabeth Road while his older brother approached the pair and started speaking to them about the accident.
He told the court he heard Cllr Canver telling his brother that she was the one driving the car.
The witness said: “I heard her say ‘I was the one driving the car and your brother was not hit. If I had hit him he would have been killed’.”
The 24-year-old then told the jury that Cllr Canver approached him and asked him to “show some mercy brother”.
Mr Oikonomou said: “She said ‘we can deal with this between us. I’ll pay whatever is necessary and there is no need to get the police.’
“She offered us compensation and implied that we should deal with this here and now and not take it any further by getting the authorities involved.”
Marguerite Russell, defending, suggested it was Mr Oikonomou who had brought up the issue of compensation.
She said: “I’m going to suggest to you that it was you and your brother who shouted at Mrs Canver and demanded compensation from her.
“You were angry after the accident and you were the one who went to speak to Mrs Canver when she arrived at the scene.”
Mr Oikonomou denied this and said he had no interest or motivation to speak to the St Ann’s ward councillor.
Burak Canver, 22, was convicted in August 2013 of taking the family’s BMW 520d without consent, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.
The case continues.