Matthew Cole

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by cfsmtb, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
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    The Age: Life plan unravelled after hit-run

    Bronwyn Dowton recently found her “five-year plan” she wrote in 2001. With her partner, Matthew Cole, she planned on buying their first home, giving birth, completing her masters degree and securing a senior role in the Victorian government. “The first two, the most important two, will now never be realised,” she said. “Not with the person that I had intended to share them with.” Mr Cole, an avid cyclist, was riding with a friend when he was struck by a car driven by former state cricketer David Plumpton at about 7am on January 22, 2005.

    Plumpton, a batsman for district team Fitzroy Doncaster who once played for Victoria’s one-day team, had not slept for 24 hours before the crash. The County Court heard yesterday that Plumpton had been drinking beer and bourbon the night before with friends. While some of his friends believed he was too intoxicated to drive, police were unable to determine his blood alcohol level because he fled from the scene, leaving his damaged Holden sedan about six kilometres away.

    As a police search ensued, involving two helicopters and the dog squad, Plumpton hid in a nearby paddock. His lawyer, Lex Lasry, QC, said Plumpton’s thoughts turned to self-harm before he sought refuge at his sister’s Mill Park home where he had been living since the break-up of his marriage in 2004. The court heard Plumpton arranged to surrender to police at 2.45pm on the day of the incident. “The police waited and waited,” said senior Crown prosecutor Boris Kayser, who added Plumpton “finally surrendered” at 6.20pm. “He must have been in a tired state and knew it.

    Others must be deterred from driving after being up all night and not having been asleep for 24 hours.” Plumpton pleaded guilty to one count each of dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, reckless conduct endangering serious injury and speeding. Mr Lasry said there was “no evidence” that the consumption of alcohol had any effect on his client.

    “David Plumpton’s life intersected with Matthew Cole’s life in ultimately tragic circumstances,” Mr Lasry said. “For Mr Plumpton his life is forever affected by this incident.” Mr Lasry said Plumpton was contrite and remorseful. “He realises there is a price to be paid and he must face the consequences of his actions,” he said.

    In her victim impact statement, Ms Dowton wrote of losing her soul mate, describing Mr Cole, a gifted musician who worked for an insurance company, as “the most beautiful, talented and loving man”. “We lived the fullest of lives together and were very much in love,” she said.

    “We were just teenagers when we began our life together — it was a love that grew stronger as the years passed.” Ms Dowton finished her masters and said while she was “starting to put my life back together”, doubts remained if she would ever have the capacity or the inclination to be bothered with a career as a ministerial adviser.

    “There is scarcely a moment that I am not without pain and grief as a result of this tragedy,” she said. “I know that I will feel this pain for the rest of my life.” Judge Stuart Campbell remanded Plumpton, 30, of Pascoe Vale South, in custody. Due to be sentenced at a later date, Plumpton still enjoyed some freedom, said Ms Dowton. “Maddy is in a grave,” she said. “We don’t get to have the life we planned. To grow old together.”