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Driver jailed for killing best pal

PUBLISHED: 16:24 11 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:27 01 July 2010

A DRINK driver who killed her best friend in tragic crash last April has been jailed for 15 months. Samantha Pickup, 21, of Plantation Drive, Orpington

A DRINK driver who killed her best friend in tragic crash last April has been jailed for 15 months.

Samantha Pickup, 21, of Plantation Drive, Orpington was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court today after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Mesure told the court how Miss Pickup had been out drinking on April 7 with her friend, Abby Groves, 20.

He said: "They had known each other for several years. They had been to school together and would normally go out on a Friday or Saturday.

"They went to Lloyds pub in Bromley, opposite the police station, and there they met two young men. They all had a good evening out and she offered them a lift home."

At around 11.45pm Miss Pickup's car smashed in to a lamppost. Miss Groves was pronounced dead at the scene and the other three were injured.

The court heard how Miss Pickup, who is now 10 weeks pregnant, has had suicidal tendencies since the crash and had run away from home, despite support from her parents.

Miss Groves was not wearing a seatbelt when she was killed. The family of the deceased entered a plea for mercy for Miss Pickup which Judge Warwick McKinnon said he had considered.

He said: "I take full account of the plea for mercy by the father and by the family, but there is a public interest that has to be served in cases such as this and, sadly, your case is no different from others I have dealt with. I also take into account your remorse and sense of shame.

"Abby was your best mate and you will have to live with the knowledge that it was your action that brought her life to an end so you are already serving a life sentence in that way."

The judge disqualified Pickup for three years and she will have to take an extended driving test before again being allowed behind the wheel of a car.

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