A SKIPPER has been cleared of piloting a boat too fast in the lead up to a crash that killed a dad-of-one.
Professional skipper Paul Carey was accused of piloting a Williams Turbojet 325 too fast in the afternoon that later saw successful businessman Aaron Brown crash the same boat, killing Ryan McKinlay who was the only passenger.
Carey, 52, was not involved in the fatal crash and the accusation against him was in relation to earlier driving on the same afternoon.
Brown, 34, is accused of manslaughter over the death of his friend and mentor, Mr McKinlay, 36, of Gosport.
Mr McKinlay died when the water jet powered boat he was passenger on, piloted by Brown, crashed into a 38-tonne motor cruiser, named True Blue.
He died of his chest injuries in the incident on June 19, 2015, in Osborne Bay, Isle of Wight.
The court heard the prosecution case is Brown, who is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence, was driving the Williams Turbojet 325 too fast and too close to the larger boat and was ‘showing off’.
Whiteley firm One Com chief operating officer Brown, of Botley Road, Curbridge, denies the charge.
Jurors retired this morning to consider their verdict but have been sent home for the day to return tomorrow.
Trevor Burke QC, for Brown, yesterday told jurors at Winchester Crown Court the incident was a ‘very serious mistake, it was an error of judgement’.
Summing up, judge Keith Cutler CBE said: ‘What you’re dealing with is “was he grossly negligent?” and the sad and appalling circumstances is something that flows from this.’
The True Blue skipper hired for the day, Paul Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, was cleared of a charge of driving too fast in contravention of Merchant Shipping regulations, in relation to earlier driving of the Williams Turbojet 325 the same afternoon.