Boy racers on trial over soldier death

Updated: 
Crash victim

Two young drivers killed a former soldier and father-of-one whilst taking part in a 90mph street race, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Callum Leach, 21, and George Allen, 19, were said to be imitating scenes from Hollywood blockbuster 'The Fast and The Furious' through the streets of Newark, Nottinghamshire, when Allen lost control of his Ford Fiesta, ploughing it into a Citroen Xsara Picasso people carrier driven by army veteran Craig Cooke, in December 2013.

The 25-year-old was driving home for Christmas with his girlfriend, Kayleigh Hardy, who suffered a broken pelvis in the incident. However, Mr Cooke died at the scene.

Leach and Allen were racing 'for pinks' at the time of the crash, the Daily Mail reports. The term refers to racing for ownership of the other driver's car and was coined by the Fast and Furious film franchise - through the pair claimed not to know the meaning of the phrase when questioned by police.

Jurors heard that the young men were "driving without thought" on the night of the incident.

Prosecutor Richard Thatcher said: "The Crown's case is Leach challenged Allen to a race to Coddington.

"The response from Allen was he appeared to accept that. The first one there was 'for pinks'."

The collision was witnessed by people in three cars driving behind the two racing vehicles. Allen and Leach allegedly overtook them before driving along on the wrong side of the road, all the time appearing to "chase" each other and driving "like prats".

Both Leach and Allen deny causing death by dangerous driving. The trial continues.

Author: Laura Thomson