The husband of a midwife from Birmingham who was knocked down and killed on holiday in Portugal by a hit-and-run driver has spoken of his "kind, caring and beautiful wife".

Rachel Munro, aged 42, was knocked down by the speeding driver and thrown 30 metres through the air as she tried to cross a road in the Algarve.

Her husband Tom, aged 67, said his life was in tatters after her death.

The couple, who had been married for nearly two-andahalf years, were on the first night of their holiday, on the outskirts of Almancil, in the Algarve, when the tragedy happened.

They were in Portugal searching for a holiday home.

Mrs Munro, who until recently worked at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, and lived in Aldridge, was in front of her husband crossing the road when the car struck her.

She was taken to hospital in Faro but hours later she lost her fight for life. Mr Munro, said: "We had just arrived and we were crossing the road going to a restaurant.

"She was slightly ahead of me when I saw a car coming down the road at an alarming rate.

"I tried to stop her and couldn't. She was thrown 30 metres into the air with the force of the impact and she was obviously seriously injured.

"She was resuscitated by the side of the road and taken to Faro General Hospital, where she died in the operating theatre."

Mr Munro said the car stopped at the scene but then drove on. The police did not ask him for a statement so he had to visit the police station the following day and insist his account of the accident was taken.

However, after visiting a lawyer in the Algarve he was told the chances of a prosecution against the driver were minimal, as it would be viewed as another case of a tourist killed while not looking the right way.

He said: "My wife was a beautiful woman and she was thrown 30 metres by the impact. It was horrendous."

Mr Munro, a businessman based in Ipswich, Suffolk, had visited Portugal more than 20 times, and about five times with his wife. Now he never wants to return there.

He had to stay in Portugal for five days before he could fly his wife's body home by private helicopter, but in that time he was touched by the sympathy shown by ordinary Portuguese people.

He said: "I am devastated. Obviously I was very much in love with my wife and she was with me.

"We were looking forward to our future together. We had so many plans, but my life is in tatters now.

"She was an absolutely beautiful woman and a beautiful person. Obviously she will be sadly missed."

Mr Munro described their relationship as a "fairytale". The couple met in Birmingham's Bank Restaurant, in Brindleyplace, when he knocked over her drink.

Within weeks she had moved to Suffolk to live with him. They bought a picturesque 16th century house, which Mrs Munro worked to restore.