THE FAMILY of a cherished grandmother who was mowed down by a speeding driver have called for action to prevent more heartache.

Catherine Akehurst was killed when she was crossing outside her home in Old Shoreham Road, Hove in September 2017.

The 85-year-old had waited until a safe moment to cross, and had nearly reached the other side, but was hit by “idiot boy racer” Adrian Fasan in a Toyota Celica who was speeding at 45mph in a 30mph zone.

Fasan, who had previous convictions for drink-driving and speeding, had been at a party the night before the crash, and admitted causing death by dangerous driving. He still had high levels of amphetamine in his system, and traces of cocaine.

At Lewes Crown Court the 40-year-old was jailed for five years and banned from driving for the next nine years.

Read more about his sentencing: 'He should have got life without parole'

Mrs Akehurst had been crossing the road at about lunchtime, but was left with “grotesque” injuries because Fasan had simply failed to see her.

He only used his brakes after hitting her at at 45mph, and claimed he had been looking at his gear stick.

Other motorists had all spotted Mrs Akehurst crossing the road, but they also saw Fasan undertaking and overtaking other vehicles before the fatal crash.

They also saw a flashing speed sign to remind him that the limit is 30mph along the road.

One witness who saw Fasan’s driving said: “I thought, what an idiot boy racer.”

Mrs Akehurst’s family say she was a “fiercely independent, sweet and capable 85-year-old woman” who would regularly cross the road to catch her bus.

In a tribute they said: “Catherine was a well-loved mother and grandmother with a very dry sense of humour, and we will cherish our wonderful memories of her.”

Her death came just a day after residents wrote to The Argus calling for action to be taken to slow down speeding motorists.

Neighbour Sylvia Harwood said some motorists had reached speeds of up to 70mph on the stretch and called for action to be taken.

Her voice has been backed by Mrs Akehurst’s family. They said: “Her neighbours and councillors are currently petitioning for a crossing to be built along Old Shoreham Road near where Catherine was killed.

We regularly see motorists exceed the speed limit along this stretch of road and we would like to encourage everyone to sign this petition as it will enable pedestrians, young and old, to cross safely.”