Woman 'deliberately' ran over and killed fiancé after row, court hears

Woman ‘deliberately’ ran over and murdered her fiancé with ‘hostile’ driving as she used her car as a ‘weapon’ during a row after a party, court hears

  • Alice Wood, 23, is said to have used her car as a ‘weapon’ to kill Ryan Watson, 24

A woman ‘deliberately’ ran over and murdered her fiancé during a row after a party, a jury has been told.

Alice Wood, 23, is said to have used her car as a ‘weapon’ to mow down Ryan Watson after she ‘lost her temper’ with him.

Mr Watson, 24, died after being dragged under Wood’s Ford Fiesta for almost 160 metres as he was struck near the home the couple shared in Rode Heath, Cheshire, on May 6 last year.

Wood claims the collision was a tragic accident after he ‘flipped’ following a birthday party the couple attended in Stoke for a service user of the Headway brain injury charity where he worked as a support worker.

But summing up the case, Mr Andrew Ford KC, prosecuting, told the jury that Wood’s claim was not supported by the evidence and they were ‘entitled’ to view it as murder.

Alice Wood, 23, is said to have used her car as ‘weapon’ to mow down her fiancé after a party

Ryan Watson, 24, died after being dragged 160 metres down the road after being struck by a car driven by his partner

Mr Ford described Wood’s driving as ‘hostile’ and intended to cause serious harm.

‘That’s certainly appropriate to strike one and the fatal strike because there was an interval of 3.7 seconds,’ he said.

CCTV footage previously played to the court showed Wood’s Fiesta swerving into Mr Watson sending him flying onto the bonnet.

He managed to get to his feet but seconds later car was driven towards him a second time, causing him to fall under the front bumper, and he became trapped under the chassis as Wood drove for 158m before coming to a stop down the road.

Wood claims she never saw Mr Wood before colliding with him the second time and Mr Ford told the jury that there was a disagreement between two collision experts over her perceived response time (PRT).

One expert claimed Wood may have ‘took her eyes’ off Mr Wood and there may have not been enough time for her to react.

But the other expert said Mr Watson was not an ‘unexpected hazard’ because Wood had driven at him the first time.

And Mr Ford told the jury: ‘Even if she took her eyes off him after strike one it’s not as if he ran away or moved very far or vanished at six feet [tall].

‘He popped up again and took a few paces to the left.’

‘You are entitled to view that strike as deliberate.’

He said Wood’s comments after the collision ‘called into question’ her claim it was an accident.

Wood claims that Mr Watson become angry with her after he accused her of ‘flirting’ with men at the party.

But Mr Ford said the allegation of flirting being made by Mr Watson may have been ‘turned on its head’ by Wood.

Previously the jury heard how he had ‘clicked’ with a female party guest, who had felt Wood ‘glaring’ at her.

Mr Watson had later tried to ring the woman just minutes before being struck by Wood’s car.

Footage of the collision, during which Mr Watson can be heard screaming, was replayed to the jury and Mr Ford added: ‘You are entitled to view that as murder.’

But Wood denies a charge of murder and separate charged of manslaughter.

Gudrun Young KC, defending, told the jury that there were a ‘number of significant areas where things are not quite clear cut’ or had been ‘twisted in a certain way’.

And there were also areas that ‘moved it away from an intentional act’ on Wood’s part and the jury’s starting point should be that the collision was a ‘tragic accident’.

‘The prosecution started with the thought that this was intentional,’ Ms Young said.

‘Thereafter, they went looking for everything to support that theory, cherry picking while ignoring anything that pointed in the other direction.’

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