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'Not in the public interest' for woman to give birth in prison...

A driver who killed a cyclist while driving carelessly has been spared jail because she is heavily pregnant.

Debra Kelly, of Welwyn Garden City, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison at St Albans Crown Court by Judge Andrew Bright. But the judge suspended it for two years, saying: “You are expecting a baby in a few weeks. If I send you to prison there is every chance you would give birth in the mother and baby unit at Holloway Prison.

“To inflict that indignity on an innocent baby is not in the public interest, though you richly deserve to go to prison.”

Kevin Lush, 47, of Ware, died when he was hit while cycling on the A414 between Hatfield and Hertford last May.

According to the BBC, the court was told that Kelly struck the businessman as he cycled home from work, sending him flying into the carriageway and his bike into the bushes.

Her car overturned on the dual carriageway and ended up on the central reservation. She left the scene after getting a lift from a stranger in a van, but gave herself up to the police seven hours later. She told the officers she had bumped her head in the accident and was hysterical. She said she had suffered panic attacks in the past.

Defence barrister Liam Walker said there was no evidence to suggest Kelly had left the scene to avoid detection. He said she had told a probation officer that she had "ruined the Lush family's lives forever".

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "Nothing I can say or any sentence I can pass will ever begin to reflect the ruin you have inflicted on the Lush family by your careless driving behind the wheel of your motor car.

Kelly was also banned from driving for 18 months, must take an extended test and pay £2,500 costs.