Detective pleased at increased prison sentence for dad who tried to kill four children in South Yorkshire

Owen Scott must spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars
Owen Scott must spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars

A senior detective has spoken of being pleased that a dad who tried to kill four children in South Yorkshire is to spend longer behind bars than first expected.

Owen Scott, of Heather Road, was jailed for 28 years in February after pleading guilty to four counts of attempted murder and was told that he would serve a minimum of 14 behind bars before being eligible to be considered for parole.

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But his minimum tariff was increased 24 years yesterday at the Court of Appeal after Solicitor General Robert Buckland challenged the original sentence as 'unduly lenient'.

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Scott, 29, struck his three children and a step child over the head with a hammer before driving his car, with the children inside, into the wall of a pub at Oxspring, near Penistone, Barnsley, at 92mph.

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He made no attempt to brake before the collision and left the children, who were aged between 8 years old and nine months at the time, with either serious or life-threatening injuries.

Two of the children require ongoing medical attention, and one will be wheelchair bound for life.
Detective Chief Inspector David Stopford, the senior investigation officer, who at the time described the case as one of the most harrowing he had ever worked on, said he is pleased at the increase in the sentence.

"Scott was in a position of trust with those children, he grossly abused that, subjecting them to an utterly horrendous ordeal that has had life-long impacts on them both physically and mentally," he said

"While I was pleased with the initial sentence, the significant increase certainly reflects just how horrific Scott’s actions were on that day.

"This case affected so many people, from the children to family members and those who worked on it, including police officers and hospital workers and I’m pleased that Scott will now have to serve longer before being considered for release."

Scott, of Heather Road, Fawley, Hampshire, had taken the youngsters from his former partner's home after he had used coke and cannabis.

While suffering from drug-induced psychosis he then disappeared with the children for two days.

He had believed he was fleeing the clutches of an 'evil gang' and 'protecting' his children from harm, Sheffield Crown Court heard.