Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rally man's 'struggle' over crash

Nicholas Morley's Porsche was in a collision with a car containing an elderly couple in Macedonia.

The 30-year-old, from Bowdon, was given a two-year suspended sentence after being found guilty of "endangering traffic, leading to death".

He has denied claims he was travelling at 100mph at the time of the crash.

Mr Morley's Porsche collided with the car containing Vladimir Chepunjoski and his wife, Margarita, near Struga on 4 May.

The elderly couple later died in hospital and the property developer was later arrested at the airport after giving a witness statement.

Mr Morley said that allegations he was attempting to flee the country were "completely incorrect" and that he had been told he could leave by police.

"The trial by media that I've been subjected to was based on pure speculation," he said.

Mr Morley said two independent experts had determined that his Porsche was travelling at 47mph at the time of the crash.

But the court in Struga refused to accept the witness testimony during his trial in June and he was subsequently convicted.

Mr Morley spent a number of weeks in Macedonian jails until he was given a suspended sentence and released.

He said: "It was a bizarre sequence of events that started off with an accident - which I've yet to come to terms with - followed by 40 days of detention in a Macedonian prison, followed by the stress of a trial.

"So there is a lot to take in and I've not come to terms with it yet."

'Normal holiday'

The 2007 Gumball Rally, from London to Istanbul and back, was cancelled after the crash.

The annual 3,000-mile Europe-wide tour attracts the rich and famous and has been criticised for its lavish cars and parties.

But Mr Morley said the reality was far removed form its portrayal in the media.

"The parties themselves involve hotel bars and nothing more glamorous than a few drinks in the evening for people who chose to partake in that.

"Myself, I think I had a drink after dinner and then I went to bed for an early night because I knew we had a long drive the next day.

"So it's no different to any other holiday I would say."

No comments: