Hit-and-run killer who mowed down father, 31, is jailed for ten years

Hit-and-run killer who deliberately mowed down father, 31, and drove over him after row outside sandwich shop is jailed for ten years

  • Paul Mallaby, 37, drove into Paul Sammons, 31, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
  • Clashed in a sandwich shop owned by Mallaby’s father in September last year
  • Mr Sammons, from Gateshead, had consumed alcohol and drugs night before 
  • Became argumentative and ‘boorish’ with Mallaby’s father inside the shop  
  • Mallaby drove ‘directly at’ Mr Sammons, travelling at no more than 5mph
  • When Mr Sammons fell, Mallaby then drove over him and dragged him on ground

Paul Mallaby, 37, (pictured) drove into Paul Sammons, 31, after the two men clashed in a sandwich shop owned by Mallaby’s father in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, on September 16 last year

A hit-and-run killer who deliberately mowed down a father and drove over him has been jailed for ten years.

Paul Mallaby, 37, drove into Paul Sammons, 31, after the two men clashed in a sandwich shop owned by Mallaby’s father in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, on September 16 last year.

Mr Sammons, from Gateshead, had consumed alcohol and drugs the night before and became argumentative and ‘boorish’ with Mallaby’s father inside the shop.

Mallaby – who worked nearby – arrived at the sandwich shop shortly after Mr Sammons and witnessed the behaviour. 

After a confrontation outside, Mallaby drove ‘directly at’ Mr Sammons, travelling at no more than five miles-per-hour.

When Mr Sammons fell to the ground, Mallaby then drove over him, crushing him with his front wheel and dragging him ‘for a distance’.

Mr Sammons died from crush injuries at the scene. 

Mallaby, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham – who left the scene and went to his place of work – was  originally charged with murder but prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter.

He was jailed for ten years and has been banned from driving for five years after his release. 

Newcastle Crown Court heard that, following the altercation inside the sandwich shop, it may be that Mallaby’s father told his son to ‘lock out’ Mr Sammons – which the latter misheard as ‘knock out’.  

Sentencing Mallaby, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: ‘[Mr Sammons] followed you outside and it’s clear, once outside, he was confrontational, argumentative and aggressive towards you.

‘He was gesticulating and goading you and no doubt invited you to knock him out as he believed your father had instructed you to do. 

‘It’s to your credit that at that stage you didn’t rise to the bait and remained calm.’

The judge said while there was no evidence Mr Sammons used or threatened violence, there is evidence he threatened to shoot Mallaby.

Mr Sammons went to the boot of a car he arrived in, as if to reinforce the threat.

Mallaby had got into his Renault Megane and Mr Sammons was at the window remonstrating with him – but was clearly unarmed.

Mr Sammons (pictured), from Gateshead, had consumed alcohol and drugs the night before and became argumentative and ‘boorish’ with Mallaby’s father inside the shop

Judge Sloan said: ‘I accept you will still have felt threatened at that point and will have been wanting to get away.

‘But then he walked away, heading towards the car in which he had arrived.’ 

The court heard the hit-and-run was captured on CCTV.

Judge Sloan said: ‘He walked nine paces. Had you waited just a second or so more, he would have been out of your way altogether.

‘But you didn’t wait. After a false start, you drove your car directly at him. When you first set off he had his back to you, walking away from you.

‘When he realised you were heading in his direction, he turned and stood still with both arms outstretched sideways at shoulder height.

‘He began to crouch, moving his hand towards the bonnet, ready to brace himself against the inevitable contact.’

The court heard Mallaby braked at the last moment, but was too late to avoid hitting him.

Although he was only doing four to five mph, the impact was enough to throw him up onto the bonnet before leaving him on the ground.

Judge Sloan said: ‘You transferred your foot back to the accelerator, applying full right hand lock and drove forward, speeding up in the direction in which he had fallen and proceeded to drive over him.

‘The front off-side wheel crushed him as he lay in the roadway. ‘The fact you were driving over him would have been obvious to you as the front of the vehicle rode up and down again.

‘Even then you did not stop. You continued on, knowing the front wheel had gone over him. He was dragged along under the car for a distance then the rear nearside wheel also went over him.’

The court heard Mr Sammons’ girlfriend and friends – who were with him – saw what happened.

After a confrontation outside, Mallaby drove ‘directly at’ Mr Sammons, travelling at no more than five miles-per-hour. Pictured: Police at the scene

He was left with a large number of rib fractures, damage to his lungs and liver and internal bleeding. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene and died of crush injuries.

Mr Sammons’ mother, Michelle, paid tribute to her son in a victim impact statement.

She said: ‘This has changed me and my family’s life forever.

‘I can’t forgive Mr Mallaby. He will one day go back to his family life, Paul never will and as a family we will struggle for a very long time, if not the rest of our lives, to cope without him.

His brothers added that they have been left traumatised and devastated that Mr Sammons’ new baby will never know his father.

Mallaby plead guilty to manslaughter.

As well as the 10-year prison sentence, Mallaby will be banned from driving for five years after his release.

When Mr Sammons fell to the floor, Mallaby then drove over him, crushing him with his front wheel and dragging him ‘for a distance’. Pictured: Police at the scene

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, said Mallaby ‘felt extremely keenly the loss he caused’ and added: ‘He is genuinely remorseful and that remorse is profound.

‘He knows whatever led to this happening cannot justify what happened. 

‘He knows the harm that has been caused is completely disproportionate and he knows there’s nothing he can do to undo what he has done.

‘He may have been provoked but that’s no excuse, which is why he’s pleaded guilty.

‘This is not an inherently bad man. There are testimonials from those who know him, there’s plainly a good man in there but that’s clearly little solace to those he has taken Mr Sammons from.’

Detective Inspector Graeme Barr, of Northumbria Police, welcomed the sentence and said it showed the consequences of using a car as a weapon.

He said: ‘This death could easily have been avoided if both men had simply walked away from the confrontation and gone about their day.

‘It was early in the morning, they had a minor disagreement and one moment of madness from Paul Mallaby has robbed a family of their loved one.’ 

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