THE driving partner of a rally enthusiast from Prestwich has been given a two-year suspended sentence for killing an elderly couple in a car crash in Macedonia.
Nicholas Morley, aged 30, had been driving in the famous 3,000-mile Gumball Rally with Matthew McConville, aged 36, from Gardner Road, Prestwich, at the time of the crash.
Their Porsch 911 hit a Volkswagen Golf near the Albanian border on May 4, killing Vladimir Chepunjoski, aged 67, and his wife Margarita.
Wealthy businessman Morley, aged 30, from Bowdon, Cheshire, who was at the wheel at the time of the crash, was convicted of "endangering traffic, leading to death" by a court in Struga, Macedonia, after a week-long trial. His suspended sentence means he is free to return to this country.
Co-driver Mr McConville was not prosecuted.
Members of Morley's family issued a statement after his court case which said: "We are delighted and relieved that Nick is on his way home. We have maintained all along that Nick was involved in a tragic accident and entirely innocent of the charges brought against him."
Morley was held in the notorious Ohrid Prison in Macedonia while he awaited trial.
He spent 23-hours-a-day in his cell at the prison, which has been criticised as overcrowded and cramped by prison watchdogs.
This year's Gumball Rally, which attracts the rich and famous, was from London to Istanbul and back.
nice to see the driver only got a suspended sentance, and that his family are delighted