Thief Who Ran Down Woman Pleads Guilty


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A thief who ran over a woman trying to stop him stealing her car has admitted killing her.


Lynda Hankey's loved ones watched thief Shaun Higgins leave her for dead

Shaun Higgins left mother-of-two Lynda Hankey for dead when he drove off in her prized MG sports car in January.

The incident outside her home in Wigan, Greater Manchester, was witnessed by her female partner, Jamie Hudson, and Ms Hudson's five-year-old son.

Higgins, of Church Street, Leigh, Wigan, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court.

He had already admitted aggravated vehicle-taking and causing death by dangerous driving while disqualified from driving at a hearing in March.

Higgins had pleaded not guilty to murder and was due to stand trial next week, but in court Gordon Cole QC asked for the charge to be put again.

This time the defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter as an alternative to murder.

Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, said: "This is not a resolution which will bring happiness to Ms Hankey's family. Nevertheless, it is the appropriate course."

Ms Hankey, 42, was planning a shopping trip with Ms Hudson and had briefly left the engine running while she went inside, the court heard.

When she returned to her car Higgins, 23, was in the driving seat.

As he turned the car around at the end of the road, he "accelerated towards her" on the icy road, reaching a speed of just under 30mph.

"His determination was to escape," Mr Edis said. "As he set off he must have thought she would jump out of the way. He may not have cared.

"But he knew what the risk of such action might be and, as the court now knows, the consequences were fatal."

His victim's head was smashed into the bonnet of the yellow MG and she was hurled into the road outside the house in Worsley Mesnes.

The court heard Higgins already has a lengthy criminal record but the details were not read out in open court. He was remanded in custody before sentencing.