A learner driver has been jailed after he killed his fiance’s sister in a horror crash the day after she was given 18 months to live.
Anthony Grimmond was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after he admitted causing death by careless driving and causing death while unlicensed and uninsured.
Grimmond, 27, of Meopham, Kent, lost control of his car on a bend in Cobham, Surrey and demolished a telegraph pole, on March 15 last year.
The crash resulted in the death of passenger Leanna Culver, 20, who had been diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease with a life expectancy of about 18 months the day before the tragedy.
Grimmond, who was engaged to Leanna’s sister Chloe, had admitted the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving and causing death while unlicensed and uninsured.
He was also banned from driving for five-and-a-half years and will have to take an extended test before being allowed back on the road.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Grimmond claimed he had swerved to avoid an animal late at night and in his panic he hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.
The car smashed into the verge and flipped, before ploughing into a telegraph pole.
Grimmond told a police officer after the crash: ‘It was my sister-in-law in that car. You know she was only given 18 months to live yesterday? I took her life.’
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The court was told he had mental health problems and the day before he had taken an overdose of antidepressant tablets in a suicide attempt.
Grimmond had bought his 16-year-old automatic Renault Clio for £270 two weeks before the fatal crash.
The prosecutor said: ‘He was clearly not experienced enough to drive and deal with hazards and didn’t possess the necessary qualifications and chose to go out and drive.’
An ambulance was called but Leanna died at the scene.
Grimmond, who had only had ten lessons, was treated in hospital for a head injury.
A saliva test for drugs indicated the presence of cannabis, but a blood sample indicated a level below the statutory limit.
Kieron Moroney, defending, said Grimmond was full of remorse for what he did.
Judge Macdonald added: ‘All cases of this sort are tragic. The defendant must live with what he has done.’
Chloe, who has a child with Grimmond, said in a statement her life had now changed forever.
She said: ‘I don’t want people to think I feel bad or blame Tony. I know he didn’t mean this to happen. It was an accident.
“He knew he should not have driven and he has to live with that for the rest of his