AN uninsured learner driver has stressed to a jury he was not racing before a crash that killed a former Dudley College student.

Joseph Chance, aged 25, said he did not accept his actions were "controlling" the driving of Dylan Stringer moments before his Ford Focus ploughed into a bus stop and wall.

Nadine Foster, aged 18, was a front seat passenger in Stringer's car and she died days later from injuries sustained in the accident on Hagley Road.

The prosecution have alleged Chance was behind the wheel of his £300 Renault Clio and he was racing Stringer at speeds up to 78mph after they had been drinking in the Chicago bar in Stourbridge.

But Chance told Wolverhampton Crown Court: "Every time I increased my speed he increased his speed.

"I wasn't testing or racing Stringer. But I knew he was mirroring everything I did on that road. There were occasions when I saw his car getting close to me."

Chance said he accepted he put his foot down on the accelerator and admitted he was driving well over the speed limit.

"I did not think about stopping or slowing down I knew everything I did Stringer was doing behind me.

"I did not encourage him to follow me at the same speed."

He went on: "I don't accept I was controlling what was happening on the road that night. It was not a race to an agreed destination ."

Paul Spratt, prosecuting, has alleged the driving of Chance played a major part in the death of the teenager.

He said: "It is the prosecution case that although Chance was not involved in the collision his actions were equally responsible for the death of Miss Foster."

Chance, of Murcroft Avenue, has admitted driving dangerously because of his speed on the Hagley Road and his manoeuvre as he overtook another vehicle.

But he has denied a charge of causing the death of the young mother who also studied at Stourbridge's Pedmore Technology College by driving dangerously.

The jury heard that Chance downed three pints in the bar where he was drinking with his ex-partner, Stringer and Miss Foster.

He said: "There was no rush to get home, and there was no discussion about racing to see who would get home first."

He said he never had the impression Stringer was trying to overtake him in the Renault he had bought just three weeks earlier as he maintained, "We were not racing each other."

The seven man-five woman jury is expected to retire to consider the evidence in the case early next week.