A drug driver who hit a cyclist before leaving him to die in the road has been jailed.

Stephen Allitt, 44, struck Nicholas Keeler who was cycling down Radlett Road in Aldenham at around 12.40am on February 11 2018.

Mr Keeler, who was travelling to his home in Kings Langley from his job at Just Eat in Borehamwood, was hit by a black Mitsubishi L200 being driven by Allitt.

He came off his bike and Allitt fled the scene.

Emergency services attended but they were unable to save 44-year-old Mr Keeler, and he died at the scene.

Watford Observer:

Nicholas Keeler, pictured, was on his way home to Kings Langley from his workplace in Borehamwood. Credit: Herts Police

Despite fleeing the scene, police enquiries quickly uncovered a damaged Mitsubishi a short distance away.

The vehicle owner, Allitt. was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was taken to custody where he provided a positive drugs test.

The tests found cocaine in Allitt’s system and they also indicated that he had used or been exposed to cannabis at some point before the sample was taken.

Upon police questioning, Allitt, then of Hilfield Lane, Aldenham, admitted to having cocaine in his system but police say he claimed that it did not affect him.

During police enquiries, officers learned customer service operations advisor Mr Keeler was on his usual journey home and was wearing a high-visibility jacket and all of his bike lights were on.

Investigating officers concluded he would have been "clearly visible" to Allitt.

Police found that Allitt had been travelling between 51mph and 60mph on the 50mph stretch of road.

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St Albans Crown Court

At St Albans Crown Court on November 5, Allitt was jailed for two years and eight months, and disqualified from driving for four years and four months.

Sergeant James Thorne, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire road policing unit, said: "The findings of our investigation concluded that the level of drugs within Allitt’s system may have caused impaired reactions such that he failed to detect Nicholas cycling ahead and therefore did not react to his presence.

"Allitt’s sentence should serve as a reminder to those who think it is acceptable to use drugs and drive. Of course, it will not make up for the loss of Nicholas but I hope it goes towards providing his family with some closure."

After Mr Keeler's death, his colleagues at Just Eat held a 'Dress Like Keeler' day - colleagues said Mr Keeler, a former student at Francis Combe in Garston, was well-known for his eccentric ways of dressing in flares and colourful clothing.

At the time, his mother Monique said: "He always saw a bright future for everyone and despite what has happened, Nick would have wanted everyone to celebrate his life.

"He will be truly missed and we will carry his memory in our hearts forever."