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Businessman ‘showing off’ ahead of fatal boating accident

Aaron Brown is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of Ryan McKinlay.

A successful businessman caused the death of his friend by “showing off” while driving a high-powered boat and crashing into his luxury cruiser at 30mph, a court has heard.

Ryan McKinlay, a father-of-one from Gosport, Hampshire, died following the accident in Osborne Bay off the Isle of Wight on June 19 2015.

Aaron Brown, 34, chief operating officer of telecoms firm OneCom, of Botley Road, Curdridge, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 36-year-old, which he denies.

Nick Tucker, prosecuting, said that Brown had taken a group of friends, including professional footballers Lee Bradbury and Lee Molyneaux, for a day out on his 62ft Fairline Targa cabin cruiser named True Blue from Swanwick, Hampshire, to Osborne Bay off the Isle of Wight.

During the afternoon, Brown and his hired skipper, Paul Carey, took turns to take the cruiser’s Williams Turbojet 325 rigid inflatable boat (Rib) out of the vessel’s onboard garage to go for “thrill-seeking” joyrides.

The jury was shown dramatic footage filmed by Mr McKinlay’s wife, Fran, which shows Brown driving the Rib with her husband on board at speed towards the cruiser and colliding into the rear and the vessel’s swimming platform.

Mr Tucker said the defendant “desperately” tried to steer away from the True Blue, but it skidded and collided at 90 degrees.

He continued: “Mr McKinlay, sitting at the front, had no chance. The swimming platform hit him in the chest at full force and threw him into the water.

“Mr Brown was catapulted into the air and onto the swimming platform, and he escaped with minor injuries.”

Mr Tucker said that Brown ignored his training by sailing too close to another vessel and added: “He ignored that advice (in order) to show off.

“He chose to pilot the boat towards a 38-tonne cruiser at something like 30mph with his friend sitting at the front of the boat and hanging on, and as a result Ryan McKinlay was killed.”

Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, denies a charge of driving too fast in contravention of Merchant Shipping regulations.

The trial continues.

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