'HE MIGHT AS WELL HAVE STABBED HER TO DEATH'
Mum's fury over killer drink driver
A HEARTBROKEN mum today said a killer driver may as well have stabbed her daughter.
The grieving relatives of Laura Thomas spoke out after Ian Smith admitted
“She can never
causing the teenager’s death. As revealed in later editions of yesterday’s Evening Express, Smith pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while over the legal drink-drive limit.
Today Laura’s mum Sherri said: “To me, Ian Smith might as well have stabbed her to death. He killed her.
“He’s still out enjoying his life but Laura can’t. He’s celebrated Christmas, birthdays, but we've had to all of that without Laura.”
But Sherri said no jail sentence would bring back her “bubbly” daughter.
“We will be looking for justice, but whatever sentence he gets, it won’t be good enough – Laura can never be replaced,” she said.
The devastated mum was at the High Court in Glasgow with her partner Steve Jefferies; Laura’s dad Adrian and his family; Laura’s sister Kelly, 18, and Laura’s friends, as Smith lodged his guilty plea.
Sherri, 42, said: “At least it was proved to everybody that Laura was completely innocent in relation to the cause of the crash.
“He’s still walking around free, but I think we’ll feel different when he’s sentenced and he doesn’t get to walk out through the same doors as we do.”
The family said former Banff Academy pupil Laura – who was known as Laura Gaga because of her love of the wacky pop star Lady Gaga – was extremely popular.
Sherri’s partner Steve said: “Laura was so bubbly – you didn’t even have to know her and within two minutes of being in her company you would feel like you’d known her for years – that’s what she was like.”
Sherri added: “All eyes were on her – and she loved playing up to the attention.”
The family said Laura – who lived in Rosehearty – loved driving her black Ford Ka, which she called Marley, and would rather spend her money on petrol than nights out.
Sherri said: “She would always volunteer to pick up her friends and family – any excuse to drive, she loved it.”
The tragic teenager who studied hairdressing at Banff and Buchan college, had also worked in her mum’s second-hand shop Aladdin’s, in Fraserburgh.
Sherri said she had not been able to have her business back in full operation since Laura’s death.
“Laura was the last person to work there, so it was very difficult for me to go back in the shop,” she said. “She was the last person to touch everything. It was very hard.”
Friends and family gathered at the Garden Arms in Gardenstown – where her mum lives – on February 9, to celebrate, what would have been Laura’s 20th birthday.
Sherri said: “We threw a big party with lots of balloons, cakes and Chinese lanterns. It was a really good turn out.”
Laura, who had been picking friends up, suffered severe head injuries and was killed instantly in the collision on A891 Strichen to Memsie road in September last year.
Smith was driving on the southbound carriageway when he lost control of his Renault Megane.
Crash scene investigators estimated he was driving at speeds between 71mph and 81mph at the time of the crash.
Judge Lord Bracadale deferred sentence until next month and Smith was released on bail.
He was banned from driving in the meantime.
GUILTY: Ian Smith caused the crash that killed Laura.