The picture of a pretty young woman taken moments after her life had been ripped away was shocking and desperately sad.

Lying motionless on her hospital bed, with a battered teddy bear in the crook of her arm, her peace and innocence contrasted violently with the circumstances of her death.

After the silver Ford Mondeo smashed into her, throwing her onto the bonnet and across the road, the driver sped off, leaving her to be found by others.

Days later Abigail Craen's mother Susan had to make the hardest decision a parent could ever be asked to make - to shut down her life support machine.

It was a sign of how wild and desperate was her desire for justice for Abigail, that in her most painful hour she opened her doors to the world.

Yesterday West Midlands Police paid tribute to Mrs Craen, saying she had done everything that could possibly be required of her to help them to catch her daughter's killer.

Six months after Abigail's death however, Mrs Craen and the police could be forgiven for thinking their actions had been largely in vain.

Five weeks into her daughter's course at Birmingham University to become a doctor, Mrs Craen's only real worries should have been that her daughter was keeping up with her coursework and making some good friends.

But the brutal events of October 30 2005 will forever be etched on her memory.

"Abigail was murdered on October 30," said Mrs Craen yesterday, her face haggard with anguish after her daughter's killer Jaswinder Lakhvinder Singh was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to 18 months imprisonment.

"She was hit while crossing the road so hard that she was thrown 32 metres.

"The man who killed her left her dying on the edge of the road. He did not brake or stop, he hid his car and did not come forward for eight days.

"Abigail was a wonderful, talented, beautiful girl whose life was full of light and laughter.

"This sentence is an insult to her. We feel that at the very least hit and run drivers should never be allowed to drive again, and should be banned for life."

Judge Daniel Pearce Higgins QC heard that Singh, from Ward End, was banned from driving for 12 months in April 2003 after admitting drink-driving at Solihull Magistrates' Court. Detective Chief Inspector Sally Holmes, in charge of the investigation, said in the absence of a strong message from the courts, the deterrent to dangerous drivers should be the risk they posed to people like Abigail.

She said Singh's priority on the night of the crash, being aware he had seriously injured another person, was a mystery.

"Singh's priority was not with Abigail's welfare. He knew from the damage to his car and from the impact that she was injured," she said.

"What is clear is that the driver didn't stop at the scene. The fact is that he tried to get away, he was not insured and he had a drink-drive conviction. Was that his priority? We will never know."

In accordance with Abigail's wishes expressed to her friends before her death, her organs were donated to two people.