Ferrari death crash driver tells court he ‘was not showing off’
Alexander Worth, 13, died after Matthew Cobden offered to give the youngster a ride in a ‘dream car’.
The driver who crashed a £1.2 million Ferrari in an incident where a 13-year-old boy died has said he was “not showing off” when he took the youngster for a ride in his “dream car”.
Matthew Cobden, 39, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court where he denies causing the death by careless driving of Alexander Worth on August 22 2016.
The court has heard that the defendant had offered the teenager a ride in the Ferrari F50 after Justin Smith, the partner of the boy’s mother, had asked for a photograph of it.
As the supercar drove down the farm access road in North Warnborough, Hampshire, where Cobden runs a car storage business, it hit a fence post and flipped in the air, throwing them out of the vehicle.
Describing the incident, Cobden told police: “Neither of us had seat belts on because I had no intention of going at anything more than a very low speed and just along the track.
“I moved away very slowly and drove off the forecourt.”
He continued: “As soon as I touched the accelerator the car took off uncontrollably.
There was no intention of doing anything stupid, I cannot stress that enough Matthew Cobden
“I do not know if the accelerator pedal jammed or what had happened but I am certain that nothing I did caused the car to speed up in the way that it did.
“I do not recall a collision in any detail, I think I heard a thud or clunk-type sound but my memory is not clear.
“The next thing I was aware of was being out of the car on the ground. I do not know if I lost consciousness during the incident.
“I looked around me and saw Alexander lying face down on the ground some distance away, back down the track.
“I turned him over and saw that he was unconscious. He appeared to have an injury to one of his arms. I was tapping his face to try and revive him and at the same time I shouted for help.”
Cobden said that he suffered a fractured rib and a punctured lung in the crash.
The married father said that he considered himself a “very experienced but always careful driver and someone who knows how to handle performance cars properly”.
He said his business stored 160 vehicles including a £22 million Ferrari Nart Spyder.
He said he drove no faster than the 10mph speed limit but thought the car reached 40mph when it crashed.
He said: “At no point was I showing off, my business is about discretion.
“It was just nice to put a young lad in one of his dream cars. There was no intention of doing anything stupid, I cannot stress that enough.”
He added: “I am incredibly, incredibly sorry for what’s happened and I wish that none of this ever happened.
“I just wish Alexander was still here. I am sorry for everything.”