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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links