A NATIONAL go-karting champion was the only teenage driver who did not perform stunts in his car on December 9 last year, a court heard.
Tony Bentley-Roberts, 18, joined defendants Michael Wood, Matthew Ferguson and two other drivers Christopher Laidler and Duncan McCann at Sainsbury’s roundabout at around 10pm on the night.
Mr Bentley-Roberts, of Ledsham, who was then in the upper sixth form at Christleton High School, already had a lot of driving experience for his age, having competed in karting competitions for Great Britain, Chester Crown Court heard.
He drove his wine-coloured Land Rover Freelander to the Sainsbury’s car park and sat chatting to the other drivers and their passengers, but did not join others showing off with stunts.
He said: “They were driving fairly recklessly, doing handbrake turns around the points where shopping trolleys are parked.
“I saw Mike Wood and Chris Laidler doing some, Mike Wood did a very close hand brake turn that nearly hit the back of Chris Laidler’s car and Duncan did one. I didn’t see Matthew Ferguson doing any there.
He told the court that when the convoy drove off to Broxton car park, he soon lost them and had to ask for directions.
He said: “I didn’t keep up with the cars because I wasn’t going to go as fast as they were. From the Sainsbury’s roundabout they were going at 40-50mph where the speed limit is 30mph.”
After joining the other cars at Broxton car park, Mr Bentley-Roberts said he saw all four drivers doing handbrake turns and antagonising people who had gone to the well-known dogging site for public sex.
Irish lorry driver Laurence Dowling, told Chester Crown Court on Wednesday that he saw the Land Rover Freelander driver had parked up and put on the hazard lights as if he was concerned the other drivers would crash into it.
Mr Bentley-Roberts and Chris Laidler were the first cars to leave the car park at just before midnight.
Michael Wood, who is charged with death by dangerous driving, and Matthew Ferguson, who is charged with dangerous driving, were expected to catch them up, but Wood’s car crashed two miles from Broxton, killing back seat passengers Tristan Cook and Dominic Arnold.
Mr Bentley-Roberts said: “I kept checking my mirrors expecting to see them catch up. Eventually we decided to turn back and found the scene of the collision.”
The court case continues.