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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Policeman denies 'macho driving'
Ashley Brice (picture: Dragon)
Ashley Brice denies causing death by dangerous driving
A detective with Dyfed-Powys Police has denied that his "macho" driving led to the death of another motorist.

Gareth James, 43, died when Det Con Ashley Brice allegedly lost control of his unmarked car on a road between Newtown and Llandrindod Wells in Powys.

Mr Brice, 33, from Kerry, near Newtown, Powys, denies a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

The court has heard that he was passing a convoy of three other cars and a lorry when the collision happened.

The jury at Caernarfon Crown Court has been told that Mr Brice was in traffic travelling at 35mph (56kph) on the A483 near Dolfor, close to Newtown, on 10 October 2005.

Geraint Walters, prosecuting, said the cars began to overtake the lorry one by one on a straight stretch of the road which has a 60mph (96.5kph) speed limit.

Steered sharply

As he overtook the lorry in his Ford Mondeo, Mr Brice allegedly increased his speed to 80mph (129kph) and continued overtaking the three other cars, the court heard.

But the jury was told that when he reached a bend he steered sharply to try to pull back on to the right side of the road, but lost control and hit the kerb before careering into the path of Mr James' Vauxhall Astra.

Giving evidence, Mr Brice said he did not know what speed he was travelling at in the run-up to the crash.

He added: "I can't say I looked at my speed because I didn't. I know I was driving faster than the cars I was overtaking but I never looked at the speedometer."

Mr Walters asked: "Was this a display of macho driving? Were you demonstrating the advanced driving skills you learned from the police?"

Mr Brice replied: "No, those people are weeded out at police training college. If you show road rage or red mist they mark you down.

"I pulled into the oncoming lane to get a better view ahead. It was what I was taught.

"I came back into the left lane and I clipped the kerb. I tried to steer but it wasn't responsive."

Robert Trevor-Jones, defending, has said that a mechanical failure in the brakes led the steering of the Mondeo to lock, leaving Mr Brice unable to negotiate the bend.

But Warren Knights, of the Ford motor company, told the jury that there were 7.5m ABS units in use across Europe and none had ever failed in this way.

The case continues.

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