A HAMPSHIRE businessman accused of manslaughter of his friend in a boating incident had a previous conviction for speeding while handling a water craft, a court heard.
Aaron Brown,34,from Botley Road, Curdridge who is chief operating officer of Whiteley telecoms firm OneCom, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of Ryan McKinlay, 36 from Gosport, which he denies.
Mr McKinlay died when a Williams 325 Turbojet rib driven by Brown collided with, Brown's luxury yacht the True Blue, off Osborne Bay on June 19 Brown had taken friends and associates on his yacht for a day out.
As part of that day the rib was driven by Paul Carey,52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, who was paid to be the skipper of True Blue that day.
Carey is charged with driving too fast in contravention of Merchant Shipping regulations.
On Thursday the court heard how Brown, has a previous conviction for speeding while handling a craft.
The jury heard that on September 13 2012, at West Hampshire Magistrates Court, Brown pleaded guilty to handling a water craft over the explicable speed limit. He was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs.
The incident happened on the River Hamble, where Brown was planing along the River Hamble at excess speed.
The court heard the river had a speed restriction of 6 knots in place, but Brown was travelling at between 25 and 30 knots.
Police stopped the rib, which had four men including Brown onboard.Brown accepted he was over the speed limit and was willing to pay a fine on the spot.
The court also heard evidence from Brown for the first time since the trial began on Monday.
Brown who was visibly upset and sobbing throughout in the dock, told jurors that when the crash happened he had tried to turn the wheel of the rib, but it didn't move.
The court heard Brown had made a couple of passes at the yacht to spray water before the crash.
Brown who was visibly upset and crying, told the court that the handling of the rib had been fine until the final run when the wheel wouldn't turn.
Defending Brown,Trevor Burke QC asked:"What direction did you expect to turn?", to which Brown answered "For the boat to turn right."
Burke later asked him: "Was the boat handling in the way you had experience before?"
Brown answered "No" and then said:"The boat would not turn".
Jurors also heard how Fran McKinlay, who is widow of Ryan Mckinlay, has issued proceedings against Brown in a civil court to recover damages.
Brown told the court that he had admitted liability for causing Mr McKinlay's death.