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AUGUST 1, 2000

Trial of Silverstone joy-rider begins

THE trial of a Royal Navy officer accused of manslaughter after joy-riding at Silverstone during the 1999 British Grand Prix weekend began on Tuesday.

Lieutenant John Brotherton is on trial at Northampton Crown Court after he was charged with manslaughter for the death of Petty Officer Ian Chambers on the Saturday evening of the race meeting.

Brotherton, 33, is alleged to have drunk six-pints of beer at Silverstone before driving a borrowed MGF sportscar through a barrier and onto the Northamptonshire track after qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Three passengers were in the car with Brotherston, including 35-year-old Chambers, who was killed when the car veered off the track at Vale corner and flipped over in a gravel trap.

Brotherstone, who is a member of the Navy's helicopter rescue corp, denies the charge of manslaughter as the trial continues.