A heartbroken mother had to pick up a first class degree on behalf of her law student daughter who was killed by a driver under the influence of drugs.
Demi Nicholson was destined for a high-flying career as a barrister before her life was tragically cut short by the reckless actions of Adrian Fererah.
His blue BMW crashed into 21-year-old Demi’s broken-down Vauxhall Corsa on the northbound carriageway of the M6, near Wednesbury on January 6 last year. She was killed instantly.
Demi Nicholson’s mother Novlet Nicholson collected her posthumous first class degree from Liverpool Hope University on behalf of her daughter who was killed by a driver under the influence of drugs
At Birmingham Crown Court last week, 45-year-old Fererah was jailed for four years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death through careless driving while under the influence of drugs.
Fererah, of Wyndhurst Road, Stechford, will also be banned from driving for five years on his release from prison.
The court heard that Demi had broken down on the outside lane but had her hazard lights on and her brake lights were also visible.
Adrian Fererah’s blue BMW crashed into 21-year-old Demi’s broken-down Vauxhall Corsa on the northbound carriageway of the M6, near Wednesbury on January 6 last year. She was killed instantly
Other drivers had noticed Demi and managed to signal and manoeuvre around her.
But Fererah’s BMW ploughed into the back of her stationary vehicle, causing severe spinal and head injuries that were fatal.
Demi, from Winson Green, was in her final year when she was killed. She was so popular that more than 1,000 mourners attended her funeral.
Liverpool Hope University awarded Demi a posthumous first class degree which was presented to her mother Novlet. An award for students has also been set up in her name.
After the hearing, Demi’s aunt Valerie George, said her family’s world ‘fell apart’ on the day of the crash.
‘Mother’s Day will never be the same again’: In a statement by Demi’s aunt Valerie George, she said how proud they are of the 21-year-old
In a statement she said: ‘They say time is a healer but every day still feels like there is a grey cloud lurking that refuses to move.
‘It hurt when Demi could not be there to pick up her certificate at her graduation and, as proud as she was, her mother Novlet Nicholson had to go and receive it on her behalf.
‘She would have given anything to be in the audience and watch her beautiful daughter make her way up to the stage and receive the award she had worked so hard for.
‘Mother’s Day will never be the same again for Novlet, who must try and come to terms with the fact she will not be getting a card from Demi again.
‘We have lost a beautiful soul who touched everyone she met and the world has lost an opportunity to be graced with the spirited, inspirational, legal expert that would have contributed so positively to society.
‘She was the most beautiful girl who would light up a room. We were all so proud of her.’
‘We have lost a beautiful soul’: Demi’s mother and two aunts set up The Demi (Dream Enormous Make an Impact) Trust in her name, aiming to support low-income students who want to go to university
Following the tragedy, Novlet, Valerie and another aunt, Wendy Nicholson, set up The Demi (Dream Enormous Make an Impact) Trust in her name.
It aims to support students from low-income families who wish to go to university with starter packs, including bedding and cookware.
The charity was officially launched at a ball held at Villa Park on the first anniversary of her death.