Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Hate You

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Hate You

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

A schoolgirl who lost part of her leg in a hit-and-run crash sat in court yesterday to watch the man who killed one of her family and left her severely disabled brought to justice.

Alan Steel, 26 ( who had 17 previous convictions for driving offences ( was high on heroin when his Cherokee Jeep mounted the pavement and ploughed into 10-year-old Danica Green.

Danica's relative Paula Stead, 32, was killed in the accident and Mrs Stead's daughter Bridie, 11, injured.

Yesterday, Danica, who had her right leg amputated below the knee following the crash, screamed "I hate you" at Steel after he was jailed indefinitely at Newcastle Crown Court.

She arrived at the public gallery in a wheelchair to sit alongside her devastated family who say their lives have been "torn apart".

Judge David Hodson described Steel ( who had bought the car just hours earlier ( as a "thoroughly amoral individual".

Mrs Stead, Danica's mother's cousin, a school dinner lady, who

had recently married her landscape gardener husband John, was walking home along St Luke's Road, Sunderland, with Bridie and Danica, on September 21, when they were struck by the Jeep.

She was carried along on the bonnet of the 4x4 before being thrown off after desperately trying to shield the two children.

The court heard how Mrs Stead, of Forest Road, Sunderland, who had been returning from her second job cleaning at a dental surgery, suffered a "huge catalogue of injuries" including a fractured skull, open head wound, 18 fractured ribs, ruptured liver and ruptured spleen.

Bridie, a pupil at Pennywell Comprehensive, Sunderland, suffered a shattered elbow and four broken bones in her foot after being hit with such force she was thrown into a nearby garden, while Danica's legs were run over by the 4x4.

Danica, a Highfield Primary School pupil, had to have her right leg amputated below the knee in October after developing gangrene and is still undergoing treatment before she can be fitted with a prosthetic limb. …

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