Man jailed over car theft death in Wigan

A car thief who knocked down and killed a woman as she tried to stop him stealing her vehicle has been jailed.

Shaun Higgins left Lynda Hankey, 42, for dead when he drove off in her beloved MG sports car outside her home in Wigan last January.

The 24-year-old, of Church Street, Leigh, admitted manslaughter at a previous hearing.

A judge at Liverpool Crown Court jailed him indefinitely for public protection, with a minimum term of six years.

Higgins was a heroin addict and had stolen Ms Hankey's car to get his next fix, the court heard.

Image caption Lynda Hankey (left) died after being run over by her MG sports car in January

Ms Hankey stood waving her arms in the middle of Prestt Grove, Worsley Mesnes, outside her home, to try to stop Higgins.

Ms Hankey's partner, Jamie Hudson, and Ms Hudson's five-year-old son watched in horror as he accelerated towards her.

They saw her flipped over the car and land on the roof with her face over the windscreen.

Higgins continued driving to shake her off. She eventually fell onto the pavement by her home where she suffered a fatal head injury.

Tyler - who considered Ms Hankey to be his mother - is still suffering from nightmares and "won't be the same again", his mother said.

Ms Hankey, a mother of two adult sons, later died in hospital.

Higgins also admitted aggravated vehicle taking and causing death by dangerous driving while disqualified from driving, at the earlier hearing.

He had a long history of offending from the age of 13, the court heard.

Image caption Shaun Higgins's was told he showed a "calculated disregard" for his victim

He was on licence following a previous conviction for aggravated vehicle taking when he killed Ms Hankey.

Judge Gerald Clifton, sentencing, said: "You saw her and you deliberately drove towards her to force her out of the way.

"She stood bravely in your path but she was flung into the air like a rag doll."

The judge said Higgins' actions showed "calculated disregard" for the danger posed to Ms Hankey.

He told Higgins an indeterminate sentence was necessary because "you are, and for the foreseeable future will be, a dangerous cocktail of risk".

Following the hearing, Ms Hudson's father read out a statement on behalf of his daughter, saying she would "forever be emotionally scarred and heartbroken".

It said: "Lynda was my everything. She was my best friend and my soul mate and we were meant to be.

"We adored each other. I really thought we would be spending the rest of our lives together."

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