A WOMAN who failed to stop following a collision which led to the death of a mother has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Melissa Lewis was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months when she appeared at Weymouth Magistrates Court yesterday.

It comes after she entered a guilty plea at an earlier hearing for failing to stop after a collision in Dorchester just after Christmas last year and failing to report the same incident to police.

The court heard how pedestrian Erika Prisacaru, 39, died following a collision in The Grove at the junction with School Lane on Wednesday, December 27.

Ms Prisacaru, who has a six-year-old son, sadly died in hospital.

CCTV and dashcam enquiries were made by police officers, who were able to track down a dark-coloured Audi A3 linked to the incident, which was later revealed to be registered to Lewis, aged 48, of Pound Close, Charminster.

Lee Turner prosecuting said: "CCTV enquiries revealed the vehicle which was traced back to Brewery Square and I understand on Thursday, January 4, the defendant was arrested.

“Her phone and iPad were seized along with her vehicle for examination. She was asked if she was involved in the incident and said ‘no’.”

Mr Turner explained that police found marks on Lewis’ car along with ‘pink fibres.’

However, when questioned about the marks by police, Lewis claimed she had been involved with a collision with a deer in September that year. Digital evidence was also collected from Lewis’ phone, which revealed she had been looking at Dorset Police’s press releases following news of their enquiries.

Jonathan Morrisey, mitigating, argued that Lewis was not necessarily at fault, because of the sightlines on the evening of the incident.

As a result of the lack of witnesses and due to the fact that the victim was crossing the road, police were unable to determine culpability – who was to blame – this is why Lewis faced charges of failing to stop and failing to report, instead of more serious offences.

Lewis was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community work. She was ordered to pay £300 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.