A DRIVER accused of killing a teenager in a hit and run denied taking a “toxic/fatal” amount of amphetamine the night before he struck him.

Derek Richards, 38, of Morgan Street, Blaenavon, is on trial accused of causing the death of Rhys Dobson by driving without due care and attention.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the defendant tested positive for amphetamine and cannabis when he was arrested hours after his car had ploughed over the 19-year-old.

Richards claims he had taken speed and smoked a joint just before he was taken into police custody.

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He told the jury he did not realise he ran over Mr Dobson at the time on Varteg Road in Blaenavon on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

The defendant maintains he thought he had driven over a washing machine or fridge on the dark country road during the early hours of the morning.

He said the Citroen C3 he was in had recently been bought by his father after receiving inheritance money following the death of the defendant’s grandfather.

Richards said he took the drugs after the crash because he was worried about what he was going to say to his dad.

He told the jury he was concerned about the damage to the car and needed to speak to his insurance company.

Giving evidence in his defence, Richards said he had spent the night before the collision at a friend’s house “drinking tea and talking about conspiracy theories”.

His barrister Ieuan Bennett asked him to describe what he initially believed he had hit when he was driving home at around 3.20am.

The defendant replied: “I thought it was fly-tipping, I genuinely did. I didn’t have a clear view.

“What I thought I hit was fly-tipping. I thought it was a washing machine or a fridge freezer.

“I felt a big bang. The impact of it shocked me. It was a hell of an impact.”

He did not stop at the scene and the police found his car later that morning at the Co-op store in Blaenavon.

When questioned about why he had taken drugs, Richards answered: “I smoked a cannabis joint to calm me down. I was in a bit of a state.

“I was struggling about what I was going to tell my dad about the car.”

Prosecutor Alexander Greenwood said to Richards: “You are a recreational amphetamine user.”

The defendant told him: “I don’t go out much.”

Mr Greenwood put it to him: “You fled the scene because you had a significant amount of illegal drugs in your system.”

Richards denied this allegation.

Mr Greenwood continued: “You had taken recreational drugs the night before.”

The witness again rejected this.

The prosecutor said: “You have told a tissue of lies to the police.”

The defendant replied: “I’m not lying. I’ll do a lie detector test if you’d like.”

Richards added: “You are making me out to be some sort of monster but I was just trying to drive home.”

Mr Greenwood claimed: “You are facing a serious charge. The amphetamine in your blood at the time was in the range of toxic/fatal.”