A MAN has been convicted of killing a 13-year-old boy while taking him for a spin in a £1.2million Ferrari.
Matthew Cobden said he lost contol of the supercar when it ‘accelerated uncontrollably’, hit a fence post and flipped into the air. The 39-year-old and passenger Alexander Worth were thrown out of the convertible.
A court heard Alexander was visiting Cobden’s car storage firm with his mother Arabella Worth and her partner Justin Smith in August 2016. CCTV showed the boy excitedly climbing into the Ferrari F50 to have his photo taken. Cobden, who was storing the car at his farm in North Warnborough, Hampshire, ahead of an auction, offered to take him for a short ride.
Moments later, Alexander’s mother ran to the scene after hearing a bang and discovered her son dying as Cobden said: ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’ Cobden told Winchester crown court he drove off carefully, not exceeding the 10mph limit on the country lane. He denied causing death by careless driving, saying the car suffered a mechanical defect.
But prosecutor Thomas Wilkins said the car, which was well-maintained, was travelling at about 40mph when it crashed. He said the accident was caused by ‘driver error’.
Cobden, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, wept as he said he had not worn a seatbelt and had not asked Alexander to do so. ‘It’s something I think about all the time. If I had done, things could have been different,’ he said.
He was convicted on a majority verdict of ten to two by a jury at Winchester crown court yesterday, and will be sentenced later this month.
After the verdict, Alexander’s family paid tribute to ‘our very special boy’ and said they hoped to increase ‘awareness of the fragility of life, dangers of driving powerful cars and the necessity of adhering to safety measures’.