Sobbing Ferrari driver tried over boy’s death says ‘I didn’t do anything stupid’
The court heard that the defendant offered the 13-year-old a ride in the Ferrari F50.
A businessman sobbed as he told a jury he did not do anything “stupid” to cause a £1.2 million Ferrari to crash killing a 13-year-old boy.
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 offered the teenager a ride in the Ferrari F50 after Justin Smith, the partner of the boy’s mother, 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.
Cobden said that after reversing the Ferrari out of the truck which had delivered it back to his premises, he needed to drive it a short distance to prevent damage to the spark plugs.
He said: “I reversed it out, Justin asked me if they could take a picture of it, I try not to do things like pictures because things appear all over the internet and I didn’t want that to happen.
“I said to Justin I have to take it down the road and if Alex wants to come with me he can.”
He said he had not worn a seatbelt and had not asked Alex to put one on.
Sobbing, he said: “It’s something I think about all the time. If I had done, things could have been different.”
Cobden said he did not drive fast down the road, which has a 10mph speed limit, and drove carefully over a bridge to prevent the car’s undercarriage from getting scuffed.
He added: “I’m in my client’s car and the last thing I want to do is cause any damage.”
Describing the crash, he said: “After that I am going along, I put my foot on the accelerator and it goes, the next thing I am not in the car.
I didn’t do anything stupid, I was just trying to do my job Matthew Cobden
“I do not know what has happened. All I keep thinking is that if I had done something I wouldn’t have hit the post. That is what frustrates me.”
He continued: “I was using the same accelerator I was doing up there, I used the same amount.
“People are going to suggest I didn’t know what I was doing but I used the same amount of pedal as I was driving around the corner.
“I didn’t do anything stupid, I was just trying to do my job. The next thing I remember is being out of the car.”
Describing Ferraris as “temperamental”, he added: “It is a powerful car. They are dangerous cars. I am sorry to say it, they are dangerous things.”
The defence argues that the Ferrari had a latent defect that caused it to accelerate uncontrollably but the prosecution say the accident was caused by driver error.
The trial continues.