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Driver goes on trial over death of Padgate biker Jack Bellis
Updated 2:21pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 in News
A DRIVER has gone on trial accused of killing a teenage motorcyclist from Padgate in a high speed crash at a ‘boy racer club’.
Gareth David Owen Jones, aged 23, from Widnes, denies causing the death of Jack Bellis, aged 19, by dangerous driving.
Chester Crown Court heard on Monday how Jones pulled a ‘sudden, dangerous manoeuvre’ in his Ford Focus ST in a 40mph zone on Warrington Road in Runcorn, next to Manor Park industrial estate.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said it happened at a ‘car cruising club’, organised on Facebook, when cars were racing each other at ‘motorway speed’.
The 'manoeuvre' resulted in the death of Mr Bellis, who was also racing on a motorbike, according to Mr Hussey.
He said: “Being a remote area, being away from ordinary motorists and police, young drivers wanted to show off their vehicles, show off the speed of their vehicles, and try their racing prowess out against each other.”
The prosecution says racers were ‘performing to an audience’, with people watching from grass verges, and that Jones was guilty of ‘deliberate risk taking’.
Mr Hussey said: “Clearly, and I don’t shirk from this, Jack Bellis was there to join the event.”
The crash happened at 10.20pm on October 14, 2012, on Domino Court, a side road off Warrington Road.
The court heard Mr Bellis’ yellow Suzuki DRZ 400 was following Jones’ ‘performance car’ in single file, on one side of the public road.
Mr Hussey said Jones moved to the centre of the road and suddenly veered left into the mouth of an access road.
It gave Mr Bellis ‘no chance’ of avoiding his car, with his bike hitting the passenger side of the vehicle close to the rear wheel, the court heard.
Jones admits driving the car, but denies driving dangerously and told police during interview he had slowed down and indicated before attempting a U-turn.
CCTV played to the jury, taken from the cameras of businesses on the industrial estate, appeared to show Jones turn, and the subsequent crash.
Jones, who remained impassive during proceedings, has also pleaded not guilty to an alternative count of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.
The trial continues.