Whittle denies photographer charge
Actor and Strictly Come Dancing star Ricky Whittle deliberately knocked a photographer down with his car "in frustration", a court has heard.
Whittle had recently split up with Hollyoaks co-star Carley Stenson but was giving her and a friend a lift after attending a cast and crew party in Liverpool's Parr Street Studios last year.
It was 1.30am on November 27 when Whittle used his red Dodge car to knock down Stephen Farrell, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Whittle was "working hard and in no mood for the paparazzi to take photographs of him and Miss Stenson together", said Paul Becker, prosecuting.
So the defendant agreed to collect his ex and her friend round the corner when they had lost the paparazzi. But a car full of photographers followed the women into nearby Duke Street where Whittle tried to pick them up.
The jury of five men and seven women heard that Mr Farrell was taking pictures next to Whittle's left-hand drive Dodge, but not blocking it, when the Dodge suddenly veered to the left, taking off and colliding with him. CCTV footage of the incident was played in court.
Mr Becker said Whittle believed the photographers were exploiting his relationship with Miss Stenson. Mr Becker said: "The prosecution's case is that the defendant, irritated by the presence of the paparazzi, had deliberately turned his wheel to the left in order to vent his frustration towards Mr Farrell."
The victim sprained his knee and hurt his hand and was later treated at hospital.
Whittle, Miss Stenson and Helen Splaine left the scene but Miss Stenson then phoned a photographer friend to find out what happened because it was obvious there had been some sort of collision. She learned that Mr Farrell had phoned the police. Whittle, of Billinge, Lancashire, later voluntarily attended at St Helens Police Station.
Whittle denies dangerous driving.