Wife of Gosport man Ryan McKinlay '˜hysterical' after videoing boat crash that led to his death

THE wife of a man killed in a boating incident was '˜hysterical' after videoing the crash that led to his death, jurors have been told.

Monday, 13th March 2017, 4:51 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:11 am
Ryan McKinlay

Former Pompey player Lee Molyneaux has told jurors of the moment he saw Ryan McKinlay killed in the boating crash.

The 34-year-old was aboard the True Blue 62ft videoing with his phone as Mr McKinlay, 36, was riding the Williams Turbojet 325, driven by Aaron Brown.

Brown is on trial accused of the manslaughter of Gosport dad-of-one Mr McKinlay, who died when the tender crashed and he hit the swimming platform at the back of the 38-tonne boat.

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Ryan McKinlay

Brown, chief operating officer at OneCom, ‘showed off’ by driving too fast and too close to the larger boat before it ‘violently’ turned left and crashed despite him ‘desperately’ trying to steer away, prosecutor Nick Tucker earlier told jurors.

Gosport businessman Mr McKinlay’s wife Francesca had been videoing on a friend’s phone when the incident happened, and was left ‘hysterical’.

Another man on the boating trip, Robert Leatherland, said she was ‘clearly upset’ after the incident.

He said: Francesca was clearly very upset and Aaron, I’d say, was in a lot of shock.

Aaron Brown, 34, arrives at Winchester Crown court today. Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency UK

‘Aaron was very quiet. Francesca was, I’d say, was hysterical.’

Giving evidence, Mr Molyneaux told Winchester Crown Court the crash that killed Mr McKinlay was a ‘blur’.

He told jurors he had been on the larger boat on June 19, 2015, after being invited along with his Havant and Waterlooville Football Club manager Lee Bradbury.

Mr Molyneaux had also been riding the tender earlier in the afternoon when it was driven by skipper Paul Carey but said he felt ‘never in danger’ during the ride.

Ryan McKinlay

Video shown to the jury showed Mr Molyneaux jump from the tender as the boat neared the larger boat.

Asked what he saw of the later crash as Brown piloted the tender, he said: ‘Very little. It was a blur.

‘I just remember a loud noise and an impact... watched Aaron come up from the driver’s side and ended up on the platform on the back of the boat.’

Together with Mr Bradbury, Mr Molyneaux said he helped to recover Mr McKinlay, who was face down in the water.

Aaron Brown, 34, arrives at Winchester Crown court today. Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency UK

‘I honestly thought he was unconscious as did Lee Bradbury,’ Mr Molyneaux said.

‘Lee Bradbury grabbed the Rib.

‘He wouldn’t have grabbed the Rib if he thought it was anything more serious.’

Jurors heard Molyneaux had lifeguard training 10 years ago.

‘I felt confident in bringing his body back to the boat,’ he said.

‘He was put in the recovery position to start with then there was efforts made to revive him.

‘It was attempted and maintained the whole time until the RNLI got there.’

Another yacht had stopped to assist, with Mr Molyneaux taken on board before returning to the True Blue.’

Ex-Blues player Mr Molyneaux was taken to Cowes, before then getting a ferry back home.

He told jurors he deleted all photos and videos he took during the afternoon excursion.

He said: ‘I started to watch one video and I couldn’t bring myself to.

‘Just in case I deleted everything from that day.’

Earlier he had said: ‘I ended up getting the ferry back on my own.

‘I was going through photos and videos, I deleted everything, every single image of that day.

‘I didn’t want to be reminded, I’d just been through a traumatic time.

‘I didn’t want to be reminded of that whole day at all.’

Jurors heard a statement from Gosport lifeboat rescuer Christopher Newbrook who said he could smell alcohol on Brown’s breath.

Trevor Burke QC, for Brown, earlier said Brown had drunk a glass of champagne, a small glass of champagne and a ‘little Peroni’.

A police officer who spoke to Brown said he could smell alcohol but Brown was not drunk.

Mr Newbrook had told police Brown suffered grazes on his legs, a laceration on his left foot and a bump to his head, which might account for his being a ‘little aggressive’ to Mr Newbrook, initially refusing to go to hospital.

The court heard Brown was told of Mr McKinlay’s death at 9.01pm, with Brown ‘distressed’ after being told.

Brown, 34, Botley Road, Curdridge, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.

Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, denies failing to proceed at safe speed while driving the Williams Turbojet 325 earlier in the afternoon.