A HIGH-FLYING businessman has appeared in court charged with the unlawful killing of his friend.
Aaron Brown, chief operating officer at OneCom, appeared in court over the death of Ryan McKinlay.
Mr McKinlay, 36, of Gosport, died on June 19 last year after a boat incident in Osborne Bay, Isle of Wight.
Now Brown, 33, of The Barn, Harmsworth Farm, Curbridge, has been charged with unlawful killing and has appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.
No plea was entered and the case will be heard next month at Winchester Crown Court.
Brown is a senior business figure in Hampshire, running the Whiteley telecommunications firm.
In August 2014 the firm signed a major two-year sponsorship deal with Portsmouth Football Club for the Milton End at Fratton Park.
Shortly after Mr McKinlay’s death last year Hampshire police announced the major crime unit was investigating.
At the time a force spokesman said: ‘Mr McKinlay was travelling as a passenger on a Rigid Inflatable Boat on the afternoon of Friday, June 19, 2015 when a collision occurred in Osborne Bay with a larger motorboat, which had been carrying the RIB on the Solent earlier the same day.’
Speaking to The News in July last year Mr McKinlay’s wife Francesca said a ‘huge void’ had been left in his family’s lives.
The 38-year-old, of Jellicoe Avenue, Gosport, added: ‘Ryan was an amazing person and his son Sonny adored him. He adored him back and we can’t believe he’s gone.’
She added: ‘We are devastated and he has left a huge void in all our lives.’
His close friend, former Pompey striker and current Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, added: ‘His death is a big loss not only for his family and friends but the area.’
The dad-of-one was a businessman in Gosport. Brown is due in court on June 20.