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Court hears accused linked to MOB

A man accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist had links with the MOB gang, while the victim was associated with the rival Parkside gang, a jury has been told.

Kethyio Whitehurst is alleged to have chased Travis Lowe at high speed through the streets of Southampton, causing him to crash head-on into a van.

Yesterday Sergeant Alex Rollin, a police gang expert, told jurors at the Supreme Court that Mr Whitehurst was associated with the membership of the MOB, but was not a “soldier” in the West End gang.

“I would say he was associated with the gang, looking to work his way up to becoming more involved in the gang culture,” Sgt Rollin said.

Sgt Rollin said that he had based his conclusion on WhatsApp chats found on Mr Whitehurst’s phone after he was arrested, a picture of him and information he had received from sources.

The court has heard that Mr Lowe suffered fatal injuries on July 26, last year as a result of colliding with a van on Horseshoe Road in Southampton. He died seven days after the collision in hospital.

Prosecutors maintain that Mr Whitehurst spotted Mr Lowe on Camp Hill Road and chased him through the back streets of Southampton towards Southampton Rangers Club.

Sgt Rollin confirmed that in 2012 police had considered Mr Lowe to be a member of the Parkside gang, but by the time of his death in 2016 police had downgraded his status to an associate of the Parkside gang.

Yesterday PC Stephen Paynter, a traffic collision expert, told jurors that he viewed CCTV of the two motorcyclists from when they entered Camp Hill Road to determine what speed they were travelling.

He said he measured out a distance of 1km from the junction of Middle Road and Camp Hill Road to Scenic Heights and recorded how long it took them to travel the distance.

“They travelled the distance in 68 seconds, just over one minute,” he said. “That would require a constant speed of 53km/h.

“Given the typography of the road; it’s very narrow, very winding with several hairpin turns travelling at 53km/h is quite dangerous.

“The speed limit of 35km/h I would even venture to suggest is too fast for that stretch of road.

“I found that it took an average, prudent driver about 120 seconds to travel that road. They covered that distance in half the time.”

Mr Whitehurst denies manslaughter. The case continues.