Woman mowed down boyfriend and ‘dragged body under car for 500ft’

Alice Wood arriving in handcuffs for her trial at Chester Crown Court
Alice Wood arriving in handcuffs for her trial at Chester Crown Court - Andrew Price

A woman mowed down and killed her boyfriend with her car after they had an argument at a party, a court heard.

Alice Wood, 23, is accused of murdering charity worker Ryan Watson, 24, outside their Cheshire home on May 6 last year by running him over and then dragging his body under the car for more than 500 feet.

Earlier that evening, the couple had been at a birthday party, a trial at Chester Crown Court was told. But the jury heard that after leaving the event, the couple had an argument and Ms Wood – who was almost twice over the legal drink drive limit – lost her temper and used her car as a weapon.

Ryan Watson who died on May 6th 2022 after a car hit him
Ryan Watson appeared to be enjoying himself at the party before the argument with his girlfriend - Andrew Price

Andrew Ford KC, prosecuting, said footage recorded at the party appeared to show tension between the couple.

He said: “Ryan Watson was caught on camera having a good time, being a gregarious and outgoing party guest, having fun and dancing.”

But the prosecutor said other guests had recalled that Ms Wood remained “a bit cold”, and acted as if she was not happy to be there.

After leaving the party, Ms Wood drove Mr Watson’s Fiat Punto back to their home in Oak Rode Heath, Cheshire.

‘She lost her cool’

Mr Ford said that Ms Wood lost her temper during the argument with her boyfriend in the car when they were both drunk.

He said: “Things became fraught, he got out, kicked a door, and she lost her cool and used the car as a weapon.”

The court heard that following the row, Ms Wood got into her own Ford Fiesta and reversed towards her boyfriend, almost hitting him.

Mr Watson, a support worker for a brain injury charity, walked away but she allegedly drove directly into him, hitting him and knocking him on to the bonnet of her car.

Mr Ford went on: “She drove straight into Ryan Watson for the second time, head on. This time he did not go over the bonnet - she knocked him clean over, under the vehicle’s front end.”

Staff in a nearby Chinese takeaway described hearing a “life-threatening scream”, the court was told, as Ms Wood travelled along the road with Mr Watson trapped under the car.

At about 11.30pm, Ms Wood knocked on the door of a nearby house and said: “Please phone an ambulance. I think I’ve ran over my boyfriend.”

The jury was told that when Ms Wood was arrested on suspicion of murder she told an officer: “It’s fine, I deserve it.”

Ms Wood admitted drinking two glasses of white wine, two rums and a glass of champagne, and was found to have 61 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the legal limit of 35, the court heard.

Ms Wood denies murder and the trial is expected to last for three weeks.

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