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Dubliner starts jail term over crash deaths of children

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VICTIMS: Petra, 2, and Marci, 5, son and daughter of Bence Zoltai, the children were killed in a road accident in Hungray

VICTIMS: Petra, 2, and Marci, 5, son and daughter of Bence Zoltai, the children were killed in a road accident in Hungray

VICTIMS: Petra, 2, and Marci, 5, son and daughter of Bence Zoltai, the children were killed in a road accident in Hungray

A DUBLIN man has begun a prison sentence in Hungary for knocking down and killing two children, almost 14 years ago.

Ciaran Tobin had previously escaped extradition over the deaths of Petra Zoltai (2) and her brother Marton (5) in April 2000 in his company Volvo while he was working abroad for Irish Life.

He lost control of the vehicle in the city of Leanyfalu, near Budapest, on April 9, 2000 and mounted the pavement while trying to avoid a car coming from a side road. Marton, who was standing on the pavement, and his sister Petra, who was in a pram, were killed instantly. Tobin was questioned by Hungarian police afterwards.

He returned to Ireland when his work was complete, but in 2002 a court in Hungary sentenced the father-of-three to a term in prison between two and three years, in his absence.

He had been convicted of negligent driving. The sentence was later reduced to 18 months on appeal.

But after a long legal battle, Tobin (49), who lives in Offington Drive in Sutton with his family, won a Supreme Court bid to escape extradition.

In 2010, the Hungarian authorities issued a new warrant for Mr Tobin.

He lost a High Court challenge to the second extradition attempt but won his appeal to the Supreme.

Tobin previously spent seven months in custody in Ireland, so has 11 months left to serve.

SENTENCE

It is understood that a deal was arranged between the departments of Justice here and in Hungary that would allow Tobin, under certain conditions, to serve a short portion of his sentence in Hungary and then return to Ireland where he would serve the remainder.

Tobin flew to Budapest last night with his wife and was arrested by arrangement and brought to jail.

He is expected back in Ireland on Friday where he will be escorted to prison here to serve the remaining time.

hnews@herald.ie


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