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Driver 'had time' to avoid fatal Newmarket crash

Zoltan Domotor
Zoltan Domotor

A Newmarket driver who caused the death of a popular racing worker has been given a suspended prison sentence.

BMW driver Danut Birle, 23, of Old Station Road, collided with a bike being ridden by Zoltan Domotor in Barbara Stardbroke Avenue just before 6.30am on January 24 last year.

As a result, 34-year-old father-of-two Mr Domotor, who was wearing a high visibility jacket, was thrown from his bike, colliding with the bonnet and windscreen of the car and suffering multiple fatal injuries including a fractured skull.

Police forensic accident investigator Pc Dean Webb told Ipswich Crown Court a test had shown that when the reflective jacket was 115 metres away, it became 'glaringly obvious’ what it was and Birle should have had time to emergency brake or take avoiding action.

Prosecuting, Charles Myatt said: “It seems that Mr Birle did neither of these.”

He said the collision had taken place at a speed believed to be in excess of 50mph, although it had not been possible to establish an exact figure.

Although there had been no witnesses to the actual collision, another driver, Laura Towns, had been overtaken by Birle a short time before and then came upon the scene of the accident. She said that after Birle overtook her, he had pulled away ‘at speed’.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Domotor’s widow said they had moved to Newmarket from Hungary for a better life and fallen in love with the town.

Mrs Domotor said that on the day of the accident, her husband’s motor scooter had broken down so he decided to cycle to work at the David Elsworth yard, in Cambridge Road, where he was employed as a work rider.

“There are no words to describe how me and my children feel,” she said. “Our future plan has been destroyed. It is really hard for my children who will grow up without a father.”

Birle, who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years. He was disqualified from driving for a year, ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and made him subject a 7.30pm to 5am curfew for the next 18 weeks.

Tom Cockcroft, appearing for Birle, who initially denied the charge, said: “Everything he has, Mr Birle would give to not be standing here today. He realises that he has caused not only the loss of Mr Domotor and devastated his family but also his own life.”