A TEENAGER accused of a brutal killing was a thorough little coward, said his lawyer.
Barrister Rodney Jameson QC told jurors at Leeds Crown Court they would be right to despise his client, Graeme Slavin.
But he said the 18-year-old was not guilty of murdering Mohammad Parvaiz.
The Birkby taxi driver was battered to death after being lured to a fare at Field Head in Golcar last July 22.
Slavin, Christopher Murphy, 18, two 17-year-olds and a youth of 16 all deny murdering the father-of- three.
A sixth defendant, Michael Hand, 19, changed his plea to guilty earlier in the trial.
Summing up yesterday Mr Jameson said Slavin had not conspired to attack Mr Parvaiz.
He said: "There wasn't a predetermined plan to assault the taxi driver, at least not one of which Graeme Slavin was aware."
Mr Jameson said that when the people carrier cab arrived at Field Head, Slavin threw a piece of concrete at the windscreen.
He added: "It was a dreadful act and it was pretty damn reckless. But he didn't think it would go through the windscreen. In fact it didn't."
Mr Jameson went on to say that Slavin had punched Mr Parvaiz once while he was still in his cab.
He said: "It was never in his mind to punch Mr Parvaiz until the second he actually did it."
But Slavin did not attack the victim after he had been dragged from his cab.
Mr Jameson said: "No defendant has said in evidence that Graeme Slavin kicked the victim.
"Christopher Murphy made that claim in his defence statement, but in evidence he admitted shamefacedly that this was not the truth."
Earlier in the trial Slavin said that when the attack stopped he went over to Mr Parvaiz and used his right foot to lift his right shoulder off the ground to check on his condition.
But Mr Jameson said Slavin's action had not been done out of the goodness of his heart.
He said: "Graeme Slavin never said he was acting as the Good Samaritan.
"What he did was callous. He wasn't really interested in helping Mohammad Parvaiz. He wanted to know just how serious this had got.
"He was a thorough little coward."
Mr Jameson added: "You will despise him for that - and so you should."
The barrister said that this lifting motion was enough contact to explain the bloodstain on Slavin's shoe.
Citing forensic evidence from earlier in the trial he said: "A tiny amount of force can produce a blood spatter.
"To say that the scientific evidence points to a kick is not true. It does not."
Mr Jameson went on to explain Slavin's actions when all the accused except the 16-year-old met up at the Wheel pub just after the fatal attack.
He said Slavin had not boasted of his role in the incident.
"No-one has said that he bragged of kicking Mr Parvaiz.
"What he did say was that his hand hurt," he said.
The case continues.