Shropshire Star

Killer driver was 'just trying to scare' crowd outside takeaway when he ploughed into them

An Oswestry man who is accused of using his "car as a weapon" to plough into a group of young people outside a takeaway, told officers after his arrest he "was just trying to scare them".

Rebecca Steer was run over and killed by Stephen McHugh on October 9

Stephen McHugh, 28, mowed down and killed 22-year-old Rebecca Steer of Llanymynech, outside the Grill Out takeaway in Oswestry on October 9 last year. A young man, Kyle Roberts, was also seriously injured in the incident.

Stafford Crown Court had already heard how McHugh, of Artillery Road, Park Hall, is accused of using his gold Volvo S60 "as a weapon" to drive into a crowd of young people outside the takeaway Willow Road at around 3am after getting into an altercation.

On Tuesday, the fifth day of his murder trial, the jury heard how McHugh refused to comment when asked by investigating officers after his arrest if he deliberately ran into the group outside the takeaway, following his arrest the day after the incident.

He also initially remained silent when police subsequently interviewed him again on October 11 but later he was heard by the jury telling investigating officers that he "never intentionally meant to do anything like that".

The jury heard how McHugh then admitted to being on cocaine on the night in question and to "drinking all day" before adding: "It's because I'm a druggie, that is what it is all down to."

A tearful McHugh was then heard by the jury telling interviewing officers: "I never meant to kill anyone, I was trying to scare them. I just wanted to drive past them and smoke off."

He added that he was unaware that he had run over Miss Steer. He said: "I didn't know I ran someone over, I thought the engine was broke because the car couldn't move properly. I didn't know there was a person under the car."

He also admitted to never having had a driving licence and "not being able to drive a car".

Earlier, the court had heard from Dr Charlotte Randall, a forensic pathologist and fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.

She told Stafford Crown Court that she found around 50 lacerations, bruises and abrasions, along with "catastrophic internal injuries" on Miss Steer's body.

She said the cause of the young woman's death was "traumatic chest and abdominal" injuries.

The prosecution case concluded, with McHugh's defence team expected to call the defendant to the dock on Tuesday afternoon.

McHugh denies the murder of Miss Steer and the grievous bodily harm of Mr Roberts, but has admitted manslaughter and actual bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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