Adamsdown car crash: Woman 'drove love rival into wall'

Image source, Family photo
Image caption, Sophie Taylor was described by her family as a "beautiful princess"

A woman allegedly killed one of her ex-boyfriend's former partners in a car chase after forcing her BMW into a wall, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

Sophie Taylor, 22, died when her car hit a block of flats in Adamsdown, Cardiff, in August 2016.

The court heard Melissa Pesticcio and former boyfriend Michael Wheeler drove separate cars as they chased Miss Taylor on a three mile (4.8km) pursuit.

Miss Pesticcio, of Llanrumney, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

The 23-year-old also denies causing serious injury by dangerous driving and two charges of dangerous driving.

Wheeler has already admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury.

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption, Melissa Pesticcio arriving at court

On Wednesday, prosecutor Matthew Cobbe told the jury there was a "period of hostility" between the two women, who had both previously dated Wheeler.

The court heard Miss Pesticcio had dated Wheeler but the pair split when he began seeing Miss Taylor in July, last year.

Miss Taylor took out a loan for £6,500 to buy an off-road motorbike for him just weeks later.

But the pair split soon afterwards and she wanted the money back, with the issue causing "angry exchanges" between them.

'Protracted pursuit'

Mr Cobbe said: "He appears to have done all he can to avoid any contact with Miss Taylor.

"Melissa Pesticcio had in the meantime become involved and any conversation that did take place involved hostility towards Miss Taylor."

The court heard Miss Taylor and a male friend went to Wheeler's house in August last year to demand the money back but he refused.

The feud spilled over into the car chase, where it is alleged Miss Pesticcio and Wheeler pursued her.

Mr Cobbe said it was Wheeler's Vauxhall Corsa which collided with Miss Taylor's car, directly causing the fatal crash, but he claimed Miss Pesticcio was also responsible after taking "a main role in the protracted pursuit".

He said she deliberately drove dangerously in her white BMW at Miss Taylor, who was driving a black BMW 1 Series.

The court heard Miss Taylor's friend, who was a passenger in the car, suffered "life-changing injuries" as a result of the crash.

The trial continues.

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