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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Man jailed for hit and run death
Abigail Craen
Abigail died of irreversible brain injuries
A driver who sped off after knocking down a student on a Birmingham crossing has been jailed for 18 months.

Jaswinder Lakhvinder Singh admitted causing the death of 20-year-old Abigail Craen by dangerous driving.

Singh, 45, gave himself up to police after Miss Craen's mother Susan allowed newspapers to publish pictures of her daughter lying dead in hospital.

After the hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, her mother said the sentence was "an insult".

"Abigail was a wonderful, talented and beautiful girl whose life was full of laughter and life," she added.

Drink-driving

"The sentence is an insult to her. She is dead and the man who killed her has a small interruption in his life.

"This is no deterrent or punishment."

The court heard Singh had previously being banned from the roads for 12 months for drink-driving.

The Birmingham University medical student, originally of Liss, Hampshire, died in the accident outside her halls of residence on Pershore Road, Edgbaston, on 30 October.

Singh, 45, from Ward End, Birmingham, previously admitted failing to report an accident, failing to stop and driving without insurance.

'Thrown into the air'

Amjad Nawaz, prosecuting, said Miss Craen was on the crossing when she was hit by a Ford Mondeo and witnesses reported hearing a loud bang.

He said: "Abigail's body was seen to be thrown into the air and catapulted. The body of Abigail was found 30m away from the pelican crossing."

The car that hit her did not stop and passers-by called the emergency services.

Miss Craen was taken to hospital and tests showed she suffered irreversible brain injuries. She died the next day.

Abigail Craen tribute
Flowers were laid at the scene of the crash

Seleena Mahmood, for Singh, said he was fully aware of the suffering he caused Miss Craen's family.

She said he did not stop because he had no insurance but when he heard Miss Craen had died he handed himself in. She said he was "ashamed" and "guilt-ridden by his actions".

Singh, who has already served almost five months in custody, was told by Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins he would serve half of his 18-month sentence.

He also banned Singh from driving for four years and told the defendant: "This is an instance that has and will continue to cause great sadness to all concerned."

Det Ch Insp Sally Holmes, from West Midlands Police, said: "We are disappointed with the sentence on behalf of the family.

"Eighteen months is no reflection for this loss of life. Potentially, he could be out in four months."

A previous court heard Singh admitted to police he had abandoned the Mondeo in the Sparkbrook area and collected it the following day before hiding it in a garage in Highgate.

Miss Craen previously attended the Charterhouse public school, near Godalming in Surrey.


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