Ricky Whittle deliberately knocked a photographer down with his car ‘in frustration’, a court has heard.

The actor, who denies a charge of dangerous driving, had recently split up with then Hollyoaks co-star Carley Stenson, but was giving her and a friend a lift after attending a cast and crew party in Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios last year.

It was 1.30am on the morning of November 27 when the Strictly Come Dancing runner-up used his red American Dodge car to knock down Stephen Farrell, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Whittle was ‘working hard and in no mood for the paparazzi to take photographs of him and Miss Stenson together’, said Paul Becker, prosecuting.

So the defendant agreed to collect his ex and her friend round the corner when they had lost the paparazzi.

But a car full of photographers followed the women into nearby Duke Street where Whittle tried to pick them up.

The jury of five men and seven women heard that Farrell was taking pictures next to Whittle’s left-hand drive Dodge, but not blocking it, when the Dodge suddenly veered to the left, taking off and colliding with him. CCTV footage of the incident was played in court.

Mr Becker said Whittle believed the photographers were exploiting his relationship with Stenson. He said: “The prosecution’s case is that the defendant, irritated by the presence of the paparazzi, had deliberately turned his wheel to the left in order to vent his frustration towards Mr Farrell.”

The victim sprained his knee and hurt his hand and was later treated at hospital. The actor later voluntarily attended St Helens Police Station.

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