Call The Midwife star's agony as drug driver jailed for killing nephew

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Linda Bassett and McErlean

TRAGEDY: Actress Linda Bassett revealed her family’s heartbreak as McErlean, right, was jailed (Pic: CENTRAL NEWS )

Luke McErlean, 41, was taking his two sons school when he swerved lanes without looking and clipped the rear wheel of motorcyclist Dominic Bassett, 41. 

McErlean had smoked cannabis the night before and was missing a near-side wing mirror on his black Mercedes after it was smashed off by his ex-partner prior to the tragic crash. 

He was yesterday jailed for three years and four months at London’s Old Bailey – despite insisting his actions were “an honest mistake”. 

Mr Bassett was thrown into the air and hit a lamppost after McErlean was seen to “stop and swerve” aggressively in slow-moving traffic, the court heard. 

Medics rushed to the scene and managed to “miraculously” get university lecturer Mr Bassett’s heart beating again. 

But the dad-of-one suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as well as neck and spinal damage after the rush-hour smash, at 8.30am on October 9 last year. 

Linda Bassett

AGONY: Linda Bassett told how her nephew Dom was ‘”loved by all who knew him” (Pic: GETTY )

“He was loved by everyone who knew him, and we will miss him for the rest of our lives.”

Call The Midwife actress Linda Bassett pays tribute to nephew Dominic

His family made the devastating decision to turn off his life support 10 days later. 

BAFTA-nominated actress Linda, 69, told how friends and family had recently celebrated Mr Bassett’s son Harvey’s first birthday. 

He and wife Katie were “full of plans for the future’ and “full of anticipation for their first Christmas in their new house”, she told the court. 

Every new experience is both “wonderful and terrible because Dom isn’t here to see it”, the TV star said. 

Reading her statement from the witness box, she added: “He was about to enjoy the very best years of his life. 

“He was loved by everyone who knew him, and we will miss him for the rest of our lives.” 

Linda and Call The Midwife cast

ACTRESS: Linda Bassett and the cast of Call The Midwife (Pic: GETTY )

Mr Bassett’s mum, Eileen, blasted the “wanton behaviour” of “reckless” McErlean which had “cruelly robbed” them of their beloved relative. 

Widow Katie wept as she told the court: “We have been robbed of our future and our family.” 

McErlean immediately accepted responsibility for the crash, in Sidcup Road, Eltham, southeast London. 

He admitted causing death by careless driving by being over the prescribed limit at an earlier hearing.

McErlean was found to have 3.5 micrograms of THC per litre of blood in his system – almost double the legal limit of the active ingredient of cannabis.

Luke McErlean

JAILED: McErlean was locked up for 40 months at the Old Bailey (Pic: CENTRAL NEWS )

He will be “forever remorseful” after the crash, Simon Pentol QC, defending, told the court. 

Sentencing, Judge Rebecca Poulet QC told him: “No sentence which this court can impose will help the Bassett family to shoulder or bear their terrible loss. 

“This was not just momentary inattention. It was aggravated by your failure to check on and repair the condition of your vehicle as well as your ongoing cannabis habit.”

McErlean, of Dartford, Kent, was also banned from the road for two years and ordered to take an extended retest. 

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