Father who attacked children with hammer before driving them into wall at 92mph jailed for life


A father who attacked his three young children and stepdaughter with a hammer before crashing his car into a pub wall at 92mph has been jailed for life.

Owen Scott left the youngsters with life-changing injuries following a cocaine-induced psychotic episode, during which he thought a gang was after him and his children.

His seven-year-old daughter lost a large part of her skull in the attack, leaving her paralysed and needing a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

The man, who claimed he had no recollection of the crash near Penistone, South Yorkshire, in August, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown court on Thursday after admitting four counts of attempted murder and dangerous driving.

He has been ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years before he can apply to be released.

At the hearing, judge Mrs Justice O’Farrell heard how in the weeks before the incident Scott had developed paranoia, attributed to temporary psychosis caused by his long-term recreational cocaine and cannabis use.

The court also heard how he had been a loving father to the seven-year-old, 21-month-old, nine-month-old and eight-year-old stepdaughter even after he broke up with his ex-partner.

Scott picked up the children from his ex-partner’s home in Southampton and went on a two-day trip around the country before the crash 230 miles from the childrens’ home.

The Travellers Inn pub where Scott crashed his car

Simon Keeley QC, prosecuting, said the man, from Fawley in Hampshire, first went to the Isle of White before heading for Liverpool. He had also purchased a satnav in Lancashire and visited a Burger King in Bury before the crash in South Yorkshire.

The court heard how a police sergeant who saw the crash said Scott left the vehicle uninjured and clambered over the seriously injured children.

The two girls were found on top of each other on the central console of the car and the younger children were found in footwells.

The judge outlined the horrific injuries sustained by the children, including multiple blows to the head consistent with a hammer found in the vehicle.

A shunt has been fitted to the seven-year-old, which will be used to drain fluid from her head for the rest of her life. The 21-month-old has a hole in his skull, which requires further surgery.

Both boys must now wear protective helmets, the court heard.

Michelle Colborne QC, defending, said Scott had become convinced a Southampton-based gang wanted to harm him and the children, which led him to try to kill the children in an attempt save them from a worse fate.

While sentencing Scott, the judge told him: “You, their father, on whom they were entitled to rely for love, affection and comfort and, in particular, on whom they did rely to keep them safe, inflicted shocking injuries that will have long-term limiting implications for them.

“You will have to live for the rest of your life knowing that you have damaged, in some cases irrecoverably, the health, both physically and psychologically, of your children.”

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