A MAN accused of causing the death of an 11-year-old girl in Radcliffe by dangerous driving has told a court he is a “careful and competent driver”.

Andrew Cairns has previously admitted causing the death of Ruby Cropper in August, 2020 by careless driving.

He has also admitted failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The 36-year-old is on trial at The Hilton in Deansgate, Manchester, which is operating at a Nightingale court as a result of the pandemic, where he denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Cairns, of Rupert Street, Radcliffe, called the police in the aftermath of the collision and was detained at his home.

The trial heard from Police Sergeant Laura Drew, who worked on the investigation following the collision in New Road.

She said in the aftermath, the vehicle of Cairns, a Suzuki Alto, was filmed and found to have been driving at 38 miles per hour eight metres on from the point of impact.

During his interview Cairns claimed he had braked heavily.

The police sergeant said there were two scenarios, firstly that Cairns did brake, which would mean he had been travelling at 44 miles per hour.

The other was he drove at a constant speed, meaning he was driving at 38 miles per hour when he hit Ruby Cropper.

The road is subject to a 30 miles per hour speed limit.

The court heard the girl travelled 14 metres in the air from the point of impact to the point of landing.

Cairns took to the stand to give evidence yesterday.

He said he felt “heartbroken and empty” after realising what he had done.

Jamie Baxter, prosecuting, asked where these feelings were when he left the 11-year-old girl in the middle of carriageway.

Cairns said: “Panic took over.”

He was then asked why he didn’t dial 999 sooner.

Cairns said: “I didn’t want to see the little girl, I couldn’t see her.”

Mr Baxter asked if he didn’t brake, why he did not.

Cairns says: “I tried to miss her on the other side of the road.”

He was then asked: “Do you think a careful and competent drive would have braked?”

Cairns replied: “I think I’m a careful and competent driver.”

The trial, before judge Timothy Smith, continues.