A NEWTOWN man "spear tackled" a taxi driver and then fell into a river running away from a police officer, a court heard.

Dray Michael James Rogers, 19, of Long Gwern, Trehafren, admitted grievous bodily harm without intent in Newtown on March 21.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said the defendant was in the passenger seat of the taxi and that there were three other passengers in the back, Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.

The victim, Shain Uddin Ahmed, alleged that Rogers kicked the door and that there was then a verbal altercation when he asked “why are you doing that?”, Ms Tench said.

Ms Tench said that Rogers spear tackled the taxi driver onto the tarmac and held his head against the road.

Witnesses called the police and when they arrived the defendant was still at the scene. However, he then ran off and PC Jones followed him. Rogers had then fallen into a river and was arrested by the officer, magistrates heard.

Mr Ahmed was taken to hospital with injuries including a displaced fracture and a broken bone to the top of his right shoulder, Ms Tench said.

The court heard that Rogers had denied spearing Mr Ahmed but accepted the injuries.

Robert Hanratty, defending, said that the “most famous” spear tackle was that of former Irish international rugby union player Brian O’Driscoll, which was then outlawed in the game.

“He certainly didn’t do that,” Mr Hanratty said.

“He was very drunk and lifted and then dropped him. There’s a difference,” the court heard.

Magistrates sent the case to Mold Crown Court where he will be sentenced alongside another GBH offence on September 2.

“We think it makes sense to go to the crown court,” said chair of the bench Lynette Kretchmer; where she said the judge could decide whether Rogers had speared the victim.

Rogers is on unconditional bail.