A BUSINESSMAN has denied the manslaughter of his friend in a boating incident.
Aaron Brown, 33, appeared at Winchester Crown Court yesterday – a year and one day after his friend Ryan McKinlay died.
Mr McKinlay, a 36-year-old businessman, of Gosport, died on June 19 last year after a boating incident in Osborne Bay, Isle of Wight. Brown has been accused of manslaughter in connection with the death.
Dressed in a blue suit with a tie and flanked by a dock officer, Brown, of The Barn, Harmsworth Farm, Curbridge, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
High-flying Brown is chief operating officer at OneCom and in August 2014 the firm signed a major two-year sponsorship deal with Portsmouth Football Club for the Milton End at Fratton Park.
Hampshire police’s Major Crime Team launched an investigation after the death.
At the time a police spokesman said: ‘He was travelling as a passenger on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) 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.’
Mr Justice Ian Dove adjourned the case for trial on October 10.
Addressing Brown the judge said: ‘You’ve had unconditional bail in these proceedings thus far.
‘I’m going to continue with your unconditional bail until the date of your trial which I’ve fixed for October 10 or such other date you are notified by the court.
‘You must attend on any occasion including October 10 if it’s the date of your trial otherwise you will have committed an offence.’
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.
Mrs McKinlay, 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.’
An inquest into Mr McKinlay’s death had been opened and adjourned.