Two locked up for airport killing

Two men who admitted killing a holidaymaker in a failed car-jacking attempt at an airport were today sentenced to seven-and-a-half years detention each.

Dean Taylor, 17, of no fixed abode, and Craig Abbott, 21, from Carley Walk, Speke, Merseyside, were given custodial sentences after they pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of father-of-three Michael Howard, 57, outside Liverpool's John Lennon airport.

They also admitted conspiracy to steal at Liverpool Crown Court along with a third man , Neil Dolan, 20, from Yeardon Walk, also in Speke, who was sentenced to four years detention.

Mr Howard, from Hesketh Bank, near Preston, Lancashire, was mown down and killed in front of his wife Elaine, 52, as he tried to stop his car being stolen on 6 January.

Mrs Howard said: "I would have liked to see the maximum the law could give for the crime. Anything under 10 years is not enough.

"I have accepted it was not murder, they did not intend to do it, but their actions have completely shattered my family.

"I would like to see them get their just deserts. I know it is going to affect their lives but they will get out and be able to get on with their lives.

"My children and I have got a life sentence."

Mr Howard was unloading luggage from the boot of his Volvo estate outside the airport when Taylor jumped from the Rover 216 he was travelling in and into the Howards' car.

The court heard that Mr Howard stepped in front of the vehicle in an attempt to stop his car being stolen.

Abbott drove the Rover forward, pinning Mr Howard between the two cars and forcing him to fall to the ground.

Charles Chruszcz QC, prosecuting, said: "Taylor drove further forward despite Mr Howard having fallen to the ground. The wheels of the Volvo passed over his legs and his body was dragged under the vehicle.

"Mr Howard was a well-built man and he became pinned under the engine of the Volvo."

The court heard the weight of the vehicle crushed Mr Howard to death.

In the panic, Taylor leapt out of the Howards' car and into the maroon Rover, which was driven away by Abbott. Dolan was a back seat passenger.

Police immediately launched a manhunt as the victim's family appealed to the public to help catch the killers.

Taylor and Dolan handed themselves in to the police the day after the incident but refused to answer any questions. Abbott was arrested on January 8 and immediately admitted his involvement in the crime.

The three defendants had a string of convictions for numerous crimes between them, including car theft and burglary, the court heard.

Taylor was on bail for burglary when the events of January 6 unfolded.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Hughes said: "You, Taylor and Abbott, did cause his death. You, Abbott, said to the police afterwards that if it had been your grandfather, you would have killed the people responsible.

"You have both since come to realise that no sentence could undo the loss you have caused.

"I have read expressions of the loss you have caused and inevitably it is extremely painful to read.

"No sentence can - nor should it - try to put a price on life. Life is beyond price."

Mr Howard's family showed no emotion as the sentences were read out.

As Dean Taylor was led down to the cells, he shouted abuse at the judge, saying: "Stick your seven-and-a-half years up your arse."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine