Crime & PolicingDriffield News

Driver who had 17 points on his licence escapes prison for killing motorcyclist

A driver who already had 17 points on his licence has been given a suspended prison sentence for causing the death by careless driving of a motorcyclist who was travelling to Fridaythorpe.

Costel Matei, who had no insurance, knocked George Ellis off his motorbike on the A1035 between Routh and Tickton in July 2020.

The 26-year-old of Lambton Street in Hull, pleaded guilty to being responsible for George’s death at his first Crown Court appearance in October.

This month, he was given a four-month suspended sentence for 18 months, a community order, 200 hours of community service, a six-month curfew and was disqualified from driving for two years.

George was on his way to Fridaythorpe that day with his dad, something they did often due to their shared love of motorbikes. Matei had been stuck in a traffic queue and in an inpatient bid to get out of this, without checking his path, drove straight into George, knocking him into the road.

He suffered serious head injuries and was immediately taken to hospital. Seven days later, his family were told that despite the best efforts of hospital staff, George would never recover from his injury. He died a short time later.

It was discovered during the investigation that Matei had no valid car insurance and had racked up 17 penalty points on his driving license the previous year.

PC Nicholas Ward said: “The pain that George’s family and friends have suffered due to the careless actions of Costel Matei is incomprehensible.

“George was an extremely bright and giving man, excelling in the RAF since joining in 2017, and had his whole life ahead of him.

“He helped others who were struggling at work, raised money for the RAF Benevolent fund and helped those in need during his time within the mountain rescue team.

“At home, he supported his friends and family by helping to care for his disabled twin sister, fitting the electrics in his younger brother’s new house and putting fences up for his friends; nothing was too much trouble for him.

“Although we welcome the court outcome, we know that nothing can bring back George for his loved ones. I must commend his family for their strength throughout this last extremely difficult 18-months.
“No-one should lose their life at the hands of careless driving by others.

“That’s why even the most basic of road safety, such as checking your mirrors before manoeuvring, should be followed in all situations to prevent accidents, and in extremely serious cases like these, the loss of life.

“I would like to thank everyone who came forward to assist with our investigation, ultimately helping us to seek justice and closure for George’s family.”

Speaking of their heart-breaking loss the Ellis family of Aldbrough said: “We would like to thank our friends for all of their support over these past horrendous 18 months since our son George Ellis was killed whilst riding his motorcycle by a car driven by Mr Matei of Hull.

“We thank the RAF at Leeming for their continuous help and support, especially the General Engineering Flight who are keeping George’s memory alive on the base.

“We would like to thank the off-duty paramedic and nurse who ran to assist George, giving him a chance of survival, and to all the people who helped that day at the accident scene.

“We were devastated to learn that Mr Matei had just sat in his car at the scene, leaving George to die on the roadside, he didn’t even ring for an ambulance or the police on his mobile, and has shown no remorse or compassion in any way since.

“We still can’t believe that Mr Matei was allowed to drive with 17 points on his licence, after only living in the UK for two years, and then went on to kill our son George.

“It’s unforgivable how Mr Matei insisted on a second post mortem before changing his mind after 38 days, as he couldn’t get legal aid, leaving us waiting in agony and delaying George’s funeral.

“A car is a lethal weapon and it is vital that people drive with care and think about other road users. We don’t want any other families to go through what we have gone through over the past 18 months.

“We all miss George every day. He was such a kind, friendly loving man, always so happy and full of life.”

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