Death driver twice caught speeding

Arron Nicolaou
Arron Nicolaou

A DRIVER involved in a fatal collision had been stopped twice for speeding in the days before he mowed down a pedestrian in the summer of 2010.

Arron Nicolaou, 24, of Battle Road, St Leonards, pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 40-year-old Bexhillian Mark Penfold in De La Warr Road at 11.24pm on August 14, 2010.

The collision happened close to the A259 trunk road’s junction with Glyne Ascent, Bexhill.

Hove Crown Court heard how Nicolaou had been stopped for excess speed in Marina, St Leonards, on August 7 and then issued with a fixed penalty notice for driving at 55mph in a 40mph zone by Kent Police on August 11.

Sergeant Phil Duffy from Sussex Police’s road policing unit said: “We haven’t been able to accurately fix the speed that he was driving at in the 30mph zone that night.

“But from forensic investigation we can tell that tragically Mr Penfold was thrown at 49mph, which indicates that this is the minimum speed Nicolaou was travelling at the point of impact. This is what resulted in Mr Penfold’s fatal injuries. There were a number of factors involved in the collision, but I have no doubt that excessive speed, along with a wilful and wanton disregard for the safety of other road users, was the overwhelmingly significant factor in Mr Penfold’s sad death.

“If Nicolaou had learnt anything from his driving experiences over the week leading up to this, it would probably never have happened. This is why we do speed checks. This is why we fine and prosecute drivers who break the law.”

Nicolaou was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to take an extended retest if he wishes to regain his licence.

At the time of the collision, another man and two women, all aged 18, were passengers in Nicolaou’s Vauxhall Corsa car and were treated at the Conquest Hospital, for minor injuries.