A DRUG driver who killed a beloved grandfather has been spared jail.

Laura Hope was emotionless in the dock at court when she received her sentence for causing the death of John Hevey, 61, in a horrific crash on Eastern Avenue in Southend on May 21 last year.

The 28-year-old was driving her partner’s BMW along the road. She had 2.9 micrograms of cannabis in her system at the time – over the legal drug driving limit – when she approached a roundabout.

She pulled out into the roundabout but failed to check for oncoming vehicles and ended up hitting Mr Hevey as he drove around.

The force of the impact as he attempted to swerve made his body collide with metal railings to protect pedestrians, and he was rushed to hospital.

He was paralysed from the neck down and was put into an induced coma.

In November last year, he sadly died from his injuries.

In a victim impact statement, his daughter Yasmine Hevey said her father had been “robbed” of his life, and that he will “leave a hole that no one will be able to fill”.

Mr Hevey’s teenage son also gave an impact statement. saying he “misses him every day” and that he “did not deserve his fate”, which he described as “worse than death”.

Mitigating for Hope, Michael Rawlinson said she was remorseful for her actions and that she “will live with them for the rest of her life” and argued that her sentence should be suspended due to the fact that she has a six month old daughter to which she is the sole carer for, and that an immediate prison sentence would do serious damage to her upbringing.

Hope remained impassive throughout the hearing and rocked from side to side in the dock.

Sentencing Hope, of Coleman Street, Southend, Judge Samantha Cohen said that Mr Hevey’s death had a “devastating” impact on his family but chose to suspend her sentence due to the effects it would have on her daughter.

She said: “Mr Levey went from being a fit man to someone who could not turn his head. Despite his condition, he was more worried about the impact it was having on his children, than how it was impacting him.”

Hope received 18 months in prison suspended for two years, 300 hours unpaid work, and a curfew for four months meaning she cannot leave her home between 8pm and 6am.