Widnes driver on trial over death of teenage biker at 'boy racer club'

Runcorn and Widnes World: Jack Bellis Jack Bellis

A WIDNES man has gone on trial accused of killing a teenage motorcyclist in a high-speed crash at a boy racer club.

Gareth David Owen Jones, aged 23, of Cradley, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said 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.

Chester Crown Court heard on Monday it happened during a race at a ‘car cruising club’, when 'young drivers' were racing at 'motorway speed'.

The 'manoeuvre' caused the death of Warrington biker Jack Bellis, aged 19, who was also racing, 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 were 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, carrying a female passenger, 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.

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