Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 31 January 2015

Stenson gives evidence at trial

Carley Stenson has been giving evidence in court
Carley Stenson has been giving evidence in court

Carley Stenson has been giving evidence for her ex-boyfriend Ricky Whittle, who is accused of deliberately running down a photographer in his car.

The soap actress was with the Strictly Come Dancing star at a Hollyoaks party in Liverpool in the early hours of November 27 last year, when the incident happened.

The pair had split up three weeks before the party, but remained friends and Ricky, 30, had agreed to give Carley a lift home from the party at Parr Street Studios.

But they did not want to fuel speculation about their relationship by being photographed together, so the defendant agreed to pick up her and a friend around the corner in Duke Street.

The women were followed by a group of photographers and autograph hunters, Liverpool Crown Court has heard.

It is alleged Ricky deliberately drove into freelance photographer Stephen Farrell with his red American Dodge car. The actor denies dangerous driving.

CCTV footage played to the jury shows the left-hand drive vehicle parked in the road as the women get in and Mr Farrell taking photographs. The car then sets off and veers to the left, knocking the photographer over.

Today, Carley, who plays Steph Cunningham in the Channel 4 soap, said she heard her ex ask the photographer to leave them alone. She told the jury she heard Whittle say something like: "Come on, fellas, please stop."

In his closing speech to the jury, Ricky's barrister Stuart Driver QC, conceded the CCTV looked bad. He said his client "regretted and was ashamed of it but that doesn't mean he intended it".

He blamed the collision on Mr Farrell. Referring to the photographer's flashing camera, he said: "What happened was the accidental product of complicated and difficult motoring conditions that were created by somebody else."

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