Boy, 13, killed foster mother Marcia Grant with her own car

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Marcia Grant was 60 when she died outside her home in Greenhill, Sheffield
By Victoria Scheer
BBC News

A 13-year-old boy who killed his foster mother by running her over in her own car has been sentenced to two years in custody.

Marcia Grant, 60, died outside her home in Sheffield on 5 April.

The teenager, who cannot be named due to his age, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in October.

Sentencing him at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday, Mrs Justice Juliet May told him custody was “the last resort for a child”.

The defendant previously denied a murder charge but admitted the offence of causing death by dangerous driving, which was accepted by prosecutors.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a knife taken from Mrs Grant’s kitchen, which was found on him when he was arrested.

The boy was aged 12 at the time of the incident and was a foster child in Mrs Grant’s care.

On the night of Mrs Grant’s death he attempted to take her car, which was parked outside the family home in Hemper Lane in the Greenhill area of the city.

In an attempt to stop him, Mrs Grant was said to have gone behind the vehicle, which then reversed, causing her to fall on her back and hit her head on the ground.

A car was left at the scene on Hemper Lane, Greenhill, Sheffield, following the incident

She then became trapped under the vehicle, the court heard, while her husband Delroy tried to break the car’s window to get the defendant out.

The car then reversed “at some speed” and caused “catastrophic injuries” to Mrs Grant.

She was pronounced dead shortly after 19:30 BST.

Analysis, BBC Yorkshire’s Emma Glasbey at Sheffield Crown Court

Marcia Grant’s son and daughter held hands in the courtroom as the 13-year-old was sentenced in Court 1.

Gemma, Mrs Grant’s daughter, wiped away tears as she stood up to tell the judge that her mother was the family’s “rock” and “wanted to pull the world into a hug.”

The boy, dressed in a black suit and tie, looked ahead at the courtroom and occasionally looked down as the family statements were read.

The court process may be over but it’s clear the Grant family will feel their loss deeply for years to come.

Marcia Grant’s son Shaun told the court the family’s lives had been “turned upside down”.

“I’ve had my best friend ripped away from me, with no chance to say goodbye, with no chance to tell her how amazing she was as a friend, mum and foster carer,” he said.

“Whilst my pain is often unbearable, my dad has been left traumatised, confused and in a constant state of grief.”

Mrs Grant’s daughter Gemma described her mother as the family’s “rock”.

Judge Juliet May sentenced the boy at Sheffield Crown Court

Mrs Justice May told the defendant the prosecution had “accepted that you did not mean to harm Mrs Grant”.

“The offence you committed was serious, but it was not murder,” she said.

“You made a bad choice. You knew that taking her car was wrong.

“Custody is the last resort for a child – but causing her death was so serious that it must be custody.”

The boy was also made subject to a driving ban and disqualified for six years.

‘Tremendous loss’

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Ch Insp Andrea Bowell from South Yorkshire Police said Mrs Grant was a “pillar of her community”.

She said: “Although the criminal justice process has concluded, I’m aware that this brings no resolution for Marcia’s friends and family.

“They will continue to grieve their tremendous loss and will do so for the rest of their lives.”

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