Accused shouted at victim’s friend

Accused shouted at victim’s friend

Jonathan Ashworth outside Oxford Crown Court yesterday

Thomas Kahl

First published in News by

A DRIVER who was over the limit ran down a cyclist and killed him before walking back and shouting at the victim’s friend, a jury heard yesterday.

Tom Kahl, 18, died at the scene on a country road in the middle of the night after crossing the road on his bike to join his friends.

They had set off to a nearby town to visit a friend at 11pm on July 10 last year, the jury heard.

Jonathan Ashworth, of Shipton-on-Cherwell, denies causing death by careless driving while over the alcohol limit.

The court heard he yelled: “What were you doing on the bike?” at Ben Fouracre, unaware the teenager was not the person he hit but was looking for his fatally-injured pal.

Ashworth, 55, said to police: “It wasn’t my fault. He didn’t have any lights.”

He was reported as smelling of alcohol and being unsteady on his feet, after bringing his Range Rover to a halt about 400 metres from the impact scene, the court heard.

Prosecutor Ann Evans told the jury: “Tom was cycling on the path on the right-hand side of the road.

“He had his iPod headphones on his ears, singing to his music. Ben Fouracre and Lewis Charlett were on the path on the other side of the road. Tom didn’t have any lights. He didn’t have high-visibility clothes.”

The trio was among a group of five travelling by bicycle from their homes in Kidlington along the A4260 to see a friend, named in court only as Georgina, in Woodstock.

Mr Fouracre, who had known the victim since they were both five years old, said: “Tom looked to the side where we were, looked at the car and crossed the road.

“He came over, saw he had a lot of time and literally in seconds the car was there.

“It was going so quickly. It was going way quicker than it should have been.”

The court heard the Range Rover struck Mr Kahl. Mr Fouracre said: “The car carried on going. It was a good 300-400 yards up. He did come back to us. He walked back towards us, shouting. He walked, didn’t run.

“He was shouting at me for being on the bike.”

Miss Evans told the jury at Oxford Crown Court a urine sample from Ashworth showed 112 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine, the limit being 107 milligrams.

The sample also revealed Ashworth had taken cocaine sometime in the recent past, the court heard.

Collision investigators said someone travelling at the speed limit would have had an unimpeded view of the impact point for six seconds.

A lack of tyre marks meant they could not work out how fast the car was travelling when it hit Mr Kahl.

Miss Evans said Ashworth “conceded” the amount of alcohol in his system was over the limit but denied his driving had been careless.

“The Crown says that despite Tom’s failure to ensure his visibility, this defendant should have seen him as a moving obstacle in the road,” said the prosecutor.

The trial continues.

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