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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 13:05 GMT
Tired motorist jailed over death
Zak Carr
Zak Carr was renowned as a solo and tandem cyclist
A sleep-deprived motorist who killed a top race cyclist after a night without sleep during a holiday flight has been jailed for five years.

Donald Pearce, 49, landlord of the Farmhouse pub on Colman Road, Norwich, hit Zak Carr on the A11 near Wymondham, in Norfolk.

Mr Carr, 30, was cycling to work when the crash happened on 17 October 2005.

Pearce had denied death by dangerous driving, but was convicted following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

During the trial, prosecutors said Pearce may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Sleep deprived

The court heard Pearce and his wife had been in Turkey on a fortnight's holiday and had landed at Stansted Airport early in the morning.

Pearce had not had an overnight sleep between leaving Turkey the night before, arriving at Stansted, and driving back home to Norwich, the court heard.

Pearce later told police that he did not see the cyclist until the last moment.

Mr Carr was one of the top three cyclists in the country and held national records at short and long distances.

Judge Simon Barham jailed Pearce for five years and said he hoped the case would serve as a warning to motorists who contemplate driving when deprived of sleep.

Judge Barham also banned Pearce from driving for seven years and ordered him to take an extended driving test before getting behind the wheel again.

Pearce's insurers were also ordered to pay prosecution costs of 2,210.

Driver denies causing A11 death
03 Jan 07 |  Norfolk
Tired driver killed top cyclist
05 Jan 07 |  Norfolk
Fatal crash landlord 'not tired'
04 Jan 07 |  Norfolk

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