A CAR enthusiast involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian says the first he knew something was wrong was “when I saw the gentleman’s face” in his windscreen.

Taking the stand at his trial, yesterday, Tomas Pittaway, who has refused to drive any vehicle since the accident, told Bournemouth Crown Court he was “unsure” if he saw Peter Worrall crossing Castle Lane East moments before the accident.

However, he did insist that he never saw Mr Worrall’s wife, Julie, who was also seriously injured in the incident.

Mr Worrall, aged 49, suffered fatal injuries in the collision, which took place around 7.30pm, December 13, 2015.

Pittaway, of Bransgore, denies one charge of causing death by dangerous driving and a second count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The 26-year-old, who founded his own car club - South Coast Audio - was driving his Volvo V-40 car with his ex-girlfriend, Leah Sparks, as passenger on the day in question.

The crown alleges an instrument panel, fitted to the A-frame on the driver’s side of Pittaway’s Volvo, obscured his view, meaning he could not see the Worralls as they crossed the road on their way home following a late afternoon out at their local hotel bar.

However, the defence disputes this, and says subsequent investigations into how much the device would have affected Pittaway’s vision were essentially flawed.

The defence insists the instrument column, bought at Halfords and fitted by Pittaway three weeks before the accident, would not have affected his view.

The court also heard the Volvo, which was in good working order mechanically and had passed its MOT prior to the instrument column being fitted, would have passed an MOT afterwards as well.

Under cross examination by prosecutor Stuart Ellacott, Pittaway said he “couldn’t say, one hundred per cent, exactly when the impact occurred.”

Pressing Pittaway, Mr Ellacott said: “I suggest that you couldn’t see them (the Worralls) coming from your right because something was blocking your sight?” Pittaway replied: “That is not correct.”

Mr Ellacott also said: “I suggest that in the three weeks you had them fitted beforehand you must have been aware these gauges - not designed for a Volvo - obstructed your vision.” Pittaway replied: “No.”

The instrument plinth, sold as a universal attachment, included three dials, but only two were connected and illuminated. The top dial was a vacuum pressure gauge for the Volvo’s turbo, while the second one down was a voltmeter to monitor batteries powering the car’s enhanced sound system.

Pittaway told the court that at no time, before or since the accident, had anyone in authority, such as a police officer, told him the device was illegal.

Earlier the court heard how Pittaway’s car club had 700 members, who displayed their vehicles at events countrywide and beyond.

“It was my hobby, my passion,” Pittaway said. “The club was specifically about the audio in the vehicle, not the vehicle itself,” he added.

The case continues.