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Woman 'deliberately' ran over and 'murdered' fiancé, dragging him beneath her car for 160 metres, during row, jury told
20 December 2023, 20:16 | Updated: 20 December 2023, 21:05
A woman 'deliberately' ran over and 'murdered' her fiancé, dragging him beneath her car for nearly 160 metres, during a row after a party, a jury has been told.
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Alice Wood, 23, is accused of using her car as a "weapon" to mow down fiancé Ryan Watson, 24, during a heated argument.
The court heard how Wood "lost her temper" with Mr Watson, struck him with her Ford Fiesta, and then dragged him beneath the car for 158 metres near the couple's home in Rode Heath, Cheshire, on May 6 last year.
Wood, however, claims the incident was an accident following an argument the couple had following a Stoke birthday party for a service user of the Headway brain injury charity where Mr Watson worked as a support worker.
But prosecutor Mr Andrew Ford KC told the jury that Wood's claims were not supported, claiming her driving was "hostile" and intended to cause serious harm.
He told the jury they were "entitled" to view the case as murder.
The jury was played CCTV footage during the court proceedings showing Wood's Ford Fiesta striking Mr Watson, pushing him up on the bonnet.
The car then drove at him a second time as Mr Watson briefly got to his feet again. He was then pushed under the car's front bumper where he was trapped under the chassis.
Wood then drove for 158 metres with Mr Watson beneath the car, before she eventually stopped down the road. Wood claims she did not see Mr Wood before the car struck him a second time.
A collision expert said Wood's perceived response times suggested she may have 'took her eyes' off her partner, adding that she may not have had enough time to react.
However another expert said Mr Watson could not be deemed an "unexpected hazard" because Wood had already driven at him the first time.
"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]," Mr Ford told the jury. "He popped up again and took a few paces to the left."
"You are entitled to view that strike as deliberate", he said, dismissing Wood's claim the incident was an accident.
Wood says Mr Watson was angry with her and accused her of "flirting" with other men during the party they attended in Stoke.
Prosecutor Mr Ford suggested that instead Mr Watson had "clicked" with another party member who felt Wood "glaring" at her. Mr Watson had attempted to ring the woman minutes before he was mowed down.
Wood denies claims that she murdered Mr Watson, as well as a separate charge of manslaughter.
Defence counsel Ms Gudrun Young KC said many areas of the case were still "not quite clear" and details had been "twisted in a certain way".