Newmarket motorist responsible for death of cyclist avoids jail time
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:00 15 June 2018
A Suffolk motorist who caused the death of a cyclist by careless driving has been spared time behind bars.
Danut Birle, 23, of Old Station Road, Newmarket, was handed a nine month sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to the charge.
The judgement means he will not have to go to prison so long as he obides by the terms of the sentence.
The court heard that Zoltan Domotor, 34, from Newmarket, was killed in an “entirely avoidable” road accident on his way to work in January 2017.
The incident happened on the A1304 (Barbara Stradbroke Avenue), Newmarket on January 24, at roughly 6.30am.
Prosecuting, Mr Charles Wyatt said that Mr Domotor was struck from behind, from which he received extensive fracturing to the back of his skull.
The court heard that there was a period of between four and 10 seconds when Mr Domotor should have been visible to Birle, giving him adequate time to stop or swerve out of the way.
Mr Wyatt added that CCTV footage showed Mr Domotor wearing a high visibility jacket, with reflectors on his pedals.
Birle initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, claiming that the cyclist had been coming towards him – not travelling in the same direction as the car – with either weak or no lights.
However he later changed his plea, and accepted all blame for the accident at sentencing.
Mr Domotor previously lived with his wife and two children in Hungary before coming over to Suffolk to seek work in horse racing. When his family came over to visit him in 2014 they fell in love with Newmarket and decided to relocate permanently.
He would usually travel to work on his motorcycle, however due to a fault with the bike on the day before the accident, Mr Domotor was forced to use his pushbike on January 24.
Mr Domotor’s widow paid tribute to her late husband with a heartfelt statement read out by Mr Wyatt in court.
“It was love at first site with Zoltan – we became inseparable,” it said.
“Zoltan had always said the roads were dangerous – he was not happy to cycle again. There are no words for how my children and I feel. I am still feeling shocked and depressed.
“Our future plan has been destroyed. It is really hard for the children, they will grow up without their father.”
The requirements of Birle’s suspended sentence include 240 hours of unpaid work and a curfew between 7.30pm and 5am for a period of 18 weeks. He was also banned from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay £2,140 in costs.