Man who tried to kill children with a hammer could see sentence increased

A man who tried to kill four young children during a drug-induced psychotic episode could have his sentence increased by Appeal Court judges.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 9:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 9:21 am
File photo issued by South Yorkshire Police of Owen Scott, who tried to kill four young children during a drug-induced psychotic episode. The 29-year-old was jailed for life at Sheffield Crown Court in February, but his sentence is now being challenged. Police found him when he crashed his car into the Travellers Rest in Penistone.

Owen Scott admitted four counts of attempted murder and dangerous driving after he attacked the children with a hammer before driving his car, with them inside, into a wall at 92mph.

The 29-year-old, of Heather Road, Fawley, Hampshire, was jailed for life at Sheffield Crown Court in February.

He was ordered to serve at least 14 years behind bars, but his sentence is now being challenged by Solicitor General Robert Buckland - who will argue the minimum term was "unduly lenient" for Scott's crimes.

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Scott, who claims to have no memory of the incident, was arrested after his car crashed into the Travellers Inn at a remote location near Penistone, South Yorkshire, in August last year.

In the weeks before the incident, he developed paranoia, put down to a temporary psychosis caused by his long-term recreational cocaine and cannabis use.

All four children, aged between nine months and eight years at the time of the crash, were left with "life-threatening and life-changing" injuries as a result of multiple blows delivered by Scott.

Medical reports indicate they will have lasting psychological damage and cognitive impairment, and one child will need a wheelchair for life.

Speaking after Scott was jailed, Detective Chief Inspector David Stopford, of SouthYorkshire Police, said the scene of the crash was so horrific that officers who attended were "astounded" to find the children alive.

He said at the time: "This has been, without doubt, one of the most harrowing cases I've worked on.

"The ordeal those young children were subjected to was utterly horrendous and I'm pleased that Scott has today been jailed for a significant length of time."

The case will be considered by a panel of three senior judges in London on Wednesday.