UK: Drink-driver who murdered student minutes after snorting cocaine jailed for life

The East Lothian Corier reports 

Stephen McHugh had snorted about eight lines of cocaine and downed six beers and ten double shots of spirits before driving his Volvo S60 on to a footpath in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Bystander Rebecca Steer was crushed underneath the vehicle near a takeaway and died of “catastrophic” injuries, a two-week trial at Stafford Crown Court was told.

McHugh, originally from Fazakerley in Liverpool but living near Oswestry at the time of the killing, admitted manslaughter and assault, claiming he was trying to frighten pedestrians after an earlier altercation nearby.

Jurors deliberated for eight hours and 39 minutes over three days before convicting McHugh on Thursday of murder and trying to wound a friend of Ms Steer’s who was also knocked down.

Jurors at the 28-year-old’s trial were not told he has previous convictions related to dealing cannabis and cocaine and the seizure of sawn-off shotgun in Merseyside in 2019.

Passing sentence on Friday, Mr Justice Andrew Baker said McHugh reacted to verbal abuse directed at his erratic driving by treating pedestrians “like they were human skittles”.

Describing the murder of Ms Steer, from Llanymynech in Powys, as an outrage, the judge told McHugh: “It could so easily have been much worse for the general group on the pavement.

“For Becky Steer, as everyone in court knows, it could not have been worse.”


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