A dad who tried to kill his three kids and a step-child by battering them with a hammer was jailed for 28 years yesterday.
Violent Owen Scott, 29, had taken the youngsters from his former partner’s home after a coke and cannabis bender – saying he believed they were in danger.
Scott, suffering from drug-induced psychosis, then disappeared with the children for two days.
The dad, from Fawley near Southampton, Hants., was spotted in the Isle of Wight, Merseyside and Greater Manchester over the next 48 hours.
He wrongly believed he was fleeing the clutches of an “evil gang” and “protecting” his children from harm, a court heard.
On August 23, he deliberately crashed his grey Dacia Logan into the wall of the Travellers’ Inn pub in Barnsley, South Yorks., around 12.25am.
He was travelling at 92mph with the four kids aged between nine months and eight years inside.
The four children – three his own and one his step-daughter – were found lying in the footwells and across the central console of the car by an off-duty police officer.
Scott, who tested positive for cocaine after the crash, had struck the children multiple times with a hammer prior to the crash.
Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorks., was told yesterday how three of the children were Scott’s own children while another was their sibling.
Scott struck an eight-year old girl, his former partner’s child from another relationship, four times, and his own daughter, aged seven, five times.
He struck his two sons 21 months and nine months old twice and once with a hammer respectively.
Prosecutor Simon Kealey told the court how all four children had been left with “life-long” learning difficulties.
One child is still in hospital almost six months after the incident.
The court was told how how scaffolder Scott was smoking half an ounce of cannabis and spending £100 every weekend on cocaine in the weeks preceding the crash.
A “self-induced” drug psychosis led Scott, from Fawley near Southampton, Hants., to believe an “evil gang” was trying to harm his family.
A few days before the crash, Scott argued with his partner and was seen walking around the house removing electrical items and sharp objects.
He appeared at the home of former partner and mother of his three children, Sheryl Rogers.
He drove her, Leo and Toby to an Ibis Hotel, telling her they were not safe.
Sheryl persuaded him to drive them home but he returned to Sheryl’s home address in the early hours of August 21 and left with all four children – telling her it was not safe there.
Mr Kealey said Scott’s movements were unclear during the next two days but that his car was spotted in the Isle of Wight, Liverpool, Bury and finally near Huddersfield, the night before the attack.
The court heard how, on the night of the crash, Scott was pursued by an off-duty police officer near the pub in Barnsley after pulling away from a grass verge without indicating.
Scott increased his speed to 92mph and deliberately drove into the pub “without touching his brake”.
Mr Kealey told the court how he struck the children with the hammer to save them from the clutches of the “gang” then drove his car into the pub to kill himself.
Jailing him yesterday for 28 years with a minimum of 13 years and 188 days, Judge Mrs Justice O’Farrell told him: “This was a gross abuse of a position of trust.
“You where their father on whom they were reliant for love, affection, comfort and on whom they did rely to keep them safe.
“You inflicted injuries that will have long-term limiting implications for them.
“Until August 23 you were a caring father.
“The psychosis you appeared to have suffered was temporary but it was self-inflicted – apparently caused by your consumption of cocaine and cannabis.
“You will have to live for the rest of your life knowing that you have damaged irretrievably the health – both physical and psychological – of your children.
“Their mother, Sheryl Rogers, will be haunted by the screams of her children when she first saw them in hospital.”
Michelle Colborne QC, defending, told the court how friends and family had described Scott as a devoted and caring dad who was once primary carer for all four children.