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Konrad Bartoszewski walks free after causing death of Jim Moyle in Farningham crash

A driver whose momentary lapse of attention caused the death of an “exceptional” man has walked free from court with a community order.

Konrad Bartoszewski’s dashboard camera showed him slowing down at a junction and then colliding with Jim Moyle’s KTM motorcycle on the A20 in Farningham.

The 47-year-old firefighter was taken to a London hospital but died from his injuries three days later.

Jim Moyle
Jim Moyle

Members of his family wept outside court after Bartoszewski, of Ladds Way, Swanley, was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work. He was banned form driving for two years.

Judge Philip Statman, lawyers and court officers were visibly moved by heart-rending statements from Mr Moyle’s widow Kate and one of their two daughters, 18-year-old Emily.

The judge asked for a pause following Mrs Moyle’s statement and prosecutor Don Ramble remained silent after reading out Emily’s tribute to her father.

Judge Statman said: “From all I have heard from the victim personal statements of his wife and daughter he was an exceptional husband and father, and one feels humbled to listen to all that he achieved in a life so tragically cut short.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard both Bartoszewski, a machinist, and the victim, from Kemsing, were on their way home from work in the early evening of November 19 last year.

Footage from the camera on the Vauxhall Vectra, which the judge saw in his chambers, showed the car on Button Street as it approached the junction with London Road.

“It is accepted he slows down and momentarily appears to stop, but he proceeds across the junction,” said Mr Ramble.

Another driver, who was behind Polish-born Bartoszewski, 26, described the car as going straight out onto the dual carriageway.

A police accident investigator found that Mr Moyle would have been about 112 metres from the junction which would have allowed Bartoszewski “time to carefully detect, observe and identify movement of other vehicles on the A20 prior to exiting the junction of Button Street”.

Jim Moyle's family paid tribute to him after the crash
Jim Moyle's family paid tribute to him after the crash

Bartoszewski, who admitted causing death by careless driving, told police he had stopped for a few seconds at the junction and looked to his right. He said he saw a car in the distance and pulled out.

Mr Ramble said Bartoszewski, who came to the UK in 2014, had no previous convictions and a clean driving licence.

Mr Moyle was married to Kate for 28 years. He joined the London Fire Brigade in 1992, working at Southwark before becoming a watch manager at Downham, near Bromley, and Eltham.

In September last year he joined the fire investigations team.

"He was an exceptional husband and father, and one feels humbled to listen to all that he achieved in a life so tragically cut short" - Judge Philip Statman

Passing sentence, Judge Statman said university educated Bartoszewski failed to see the motorcycle as he pulled out of the junction.

“The result was devastating,” he said.

“It is important for me to emphasise that the deceased was driving his motorcycle in a wholly appropriate manner at a speed within the limit.”

Bartoszewski was a law-abiding citizen and was remorseful for what he had done.

“May I make this clear,” the judge continued. “From a judicial perspective these are the most difficult cases in which a judge has to pass sentence.

“A precious life has been taken. Mr Moyle served the community in the fire service. He had been awarded a long service medal. He well and truly was a good man.

“No one, least of all his family, suggests you set out with malice in your heart against anyone when you left work to drive home.

“But a life has been taken and no words or sentence of this court can ease the burden placed on the Moyle family.”

The maximum sentence for the offence was five years. Bartoszewski will have to take an extended driving test before receiving his licence back.

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