Star denies photographer car attack
Strictly Come Dancing star Ricky Whittle has denied he deliberately drove his car into a photographer.
The former Hollyoaks actor was giving evidence at Liverpool Crown Court where he is accused of dangerous driving.
The 30-year-old is alleged to have knocked over paparazzo Stephen Farrell after leaving a party for the cast of the Channel 4 soap in Liverpool last November.
Whittle was successfully taking part in the hit BBC One dance show and had recently split from partner - and fellow Hollyoaks star - Carley Stenson when the incident happened, the court was told.
Questioned by Stuart Driver QC, defending, Whittle, from Billinge, Greater Manchester, said he and Stenson had remained on good terms after they broke up and he had offered her a lift home from the party.
He said they both feared being pictured together would lead to further speculation about their relationship so they decided he would move his car around the corner from the bar and she would follow him on foot.
But the group of photographers followed Stenson and a friend as they walked to meet Whittle in his red Dodge Ram truck.
Whittle told the court: "I said (to the photographers), 'life's s*** as it is, can you give us a break? It's cold and the girls are only in dresses, just leave us alone'."
The actor said one of the photographers put down his camera, saying they had what they needed, but Mr Farrell continued taking pictures.
He said: "Mr Farrell jumped across in front of the car and was taking pictures through the windscreen."