ALL evidence has now been heard in the trial against Michael Wood and Matthew Ferguson.
Both 18-year olds entered the witness stand on Tuesday to give evidence about their roles in the crash that killed Dominic Arnold and Tristan Cook on December 10 last year.
Barristers for the prosecution and defence summarised their cases to the jury.
Prosecutor Owen Edwards told the 12 jurors: “Sometimes tragedies occur because of the slightest errors. This is not such a case.
“Michael Wood suggests he drove completely properly at 40-50mph around both bends. The Crown says this was bad driving over a sutained period. It was sadly a tragedy waiting to happen.
“Pause for a moment when you are considering the submission that this is just an unfortunatele accident.
“Michael Wood could have killed himself and a passenger going through a red light, he could have killed on the bars roundabout, he could have killed on the Milton Green overtake.
“He could have killed as he entered the car park at Broxton with a passenger hanging out of the car, he could have killed on the first left hand bend when there was the initial wobble.
“You will know fortunately in life that we often get away with risk after risk after risk, but as I said right at the opening, he took one risk too many.”
Defence for Michael Wood, Mark LeBrocq said: “This is a tragic case, you can see from the number of people in court how many people have been affected and continue to be affected by it.
“It is quite impossible for people to be unaware of the suffering that has been caused. Nothing I say must detract from that.
“You must judge this case dispassionately based on the evidence you have heard.
“The defence say this was a tragic accident caused by a misjudgements on the part of Michael Wood due to his inexperience.
“We say they may amount to the offence of careless driving, but they are not considered dangerous driving as defined by the law.”
Defence for Ferguson, Simon Mills, said: “If Matthew Ferguson had been treated in the same way as Chris Laidler or Duncan McCann then you would be now one step closer to considering your verdict in the case of Michael Wood.
“Whatever Matthew Ferguson did on December 9-10 he did not cause the deaths of Tristan Cook or Dominic Arnold.
“What a pity he had that allegation [of causing death by dangerous driving] hanging over his head for over six months.”
He added: “So the charge moves to dangerous driving although Chris Laidler and to a lesser extent Duncan McCann are not accused of that. Even during this trial the format of that charge has changed.”
Mr Mills explained to the jury that the legal definition of dangerous driving is driving ‘far below’ the standards expected of and recognised by a competent, careful driver.
He added that the charge of careless driving is defined as being ‘below’ the standard of a competent and careful driver.
The jury has been given the option of finding Ferguson and Wood guilty of careless driving if they do not believe they are guilty of dangerous driving, or innocent.
Mr Mills said: “If you find there is insufficient evidence that [Ferguson] drove carelessly I would invte you to acquit him of that charge.”
Judge David Hale will finish his summing up of the case on Wednesday morning and the jury is expected to be sent out to consider their verdict by noon.
As soon as the jury reaches their verdict The Chronicle will post it on the breaking news section of the website.
Keep visiting www.chesterchronicle.co.uk on Wednesday for breaking news on the jury’s verdict and read The Chronicle on Friday for a full trial report.