‘Looks like I got my first kill’ said feral thug, 13, after he ran over his foster mother – and he will be released in just four months
- Marcia Grant, 60, was run over the by 12-year-old she fostered days beforehand
- The boy was sentenced to two years in youth custody at Sheffield Crown Court
He was just 12 years old. It is perhaps the single most shocking fact about the boy who was locked up yesterday for killing his foster mother outside her home in her car.
His victim – much loved and universally popular Marcia Grant, 60 – was knocked to the ground when she tried to stop him stealing the family’s Honda Civic by standing behind the vehicle one terrible evening in April.
Mrs Grant’s husband Delroy pleaded with the young boy, who was wearing a balaclava and carrying a knife, to stop. He ignored him and then proceeded ‘aggressively’ to reverse over his wife.
Among the first words he uttered to police after he was arrested trying to flee the scene in the Greenhill area of Sheffield were: ‘Looks like I got my first kill?’
He was just 12, remember – just 12.
We have been unable to reveal the fact that Mrs Grant was also his foster mother until today which has added another layer of iniquity to what happened.
The boy, who is now 13 and cannot be identified for legal reasons, was initially charged with murder, but his guilty plea to the lesser offence of causing death by dangerous driving was accepted. It’s a decision, that on the face of it, is hard to comprehend.
Marcia Grant, 60 was knocked to the ground when she tried to stop him stealing the family’s Honda Civic by standing behind the vehicle one terrible evening in April
Floral tributes left outside a house on Hemper Lane, Greenhill in Sheffield
‘We feel completely let down by the Crown Prosecution Service and their lack of willingness to allow our mum’s story to be heard and brought to meaningful justice,’ the Grant family said in a statement after the teenage killer was sentenced to two years in youth custody at Sheffield Crown Court.
He will be released in less than five months because of the time he has already spent in custody. Many people across the country, rightly or wrongly, will surely empathise with the Grant family’s sense of betrayal.
Her son Shaun, 37, and daughter Gemma, 39, who held hands in the courtroom, said their father had been left ‘deeply traumatised’ by the death of his wife, to whom he’d been married for 39 years. He suffered ‘frequent flashbacks’ while their own lives had been ‘turned upside down’.
Their grief, as they read out impact statements, was visceral.
Why did he do it?
Indeed behind this tragedy is an all too familiar narrative of broken Britain: feckless parents, allegations of domestic violence, and a boy that was feral in all but name.
He was ‘an extremely challenging’ boy, his barrister said. That was an understatement.
His father, according to neighbours at his previous home, had ‘been in and out of jail all his life’ – mainly for burglary and theft – and beat his mother who could not read or write. It was said neither of them exercised any parental control over their son.
The scene on the night – A car was left on Hemper Lane, Greenhill, in Sheffield
The teenage killer was sentenced to two years in youth custody at Sheffield Crown Court
By all accounts he barely went to school and once allegedly held a knife to his biological mother’s neck.
In fact, the court heard how he claimed ‘to have been a gangster since he was aged nine’ and had carried a knife from a young age. In several pictures on social media he can be seen giving the middle finger to the camera. This was the kind of individual Mrs Grant, who had been a foster mother since 2016, took under her roof. She probably knew all this but she still took him. Many wouldn’t have. She did so, however, seemingly without hesitation.
READ MORE: Family’s fury at two-year sentence for ‘gangster since the age of nine’ who ran over and killed his foster mother: Relatives feel ‘completely let down’ as traumatised husband suffers flashbacks and it is revealed killer could be out in just four months
This was the kind of woman Marcia was – a ‘pillar of the community’.
It is an overused description. But it couldn’t have been more accurate in her case.
Mrs Grant tried not to react to any behavioural issues of the children she looked after, it emerged in court.
But her good nature and endless patience were wasted on her latest charge. There were disagreements over the inappropriate TV shows he watched, among other issues, and only a week before Mrs Grant died, the boy was taken to a salon but ‘kicked off’ simply because the hairdresser wouldn’t cut a line in his eyebrows.
Those familiar with the teenage delinquent and his family will not be surprised. They knew all about him and his family from bitter experience. ‘I used to tell his dad ‘you have to control your kids’. But he would not. They just did what they wanted,’ one exasperated local revealed. ‘The boy caused trouble. He would go into shops pinching things and his father would do nothing.
‘The boy tried to break into my house several times, he was out of control. He would climb out of his bedroom window and chuck all his rubbish into my garden. I got a letter from the council ordering me to clean it up or I would get a £1,000 fine. I tried to tell them it was my neighbours making the mess, but in the end I had to pay out £500 to get it cleaned up myself.’
It didn’t end there.
Others recounted how he stole from shops and used his mother’s debit card to buy clothes or order trainers on the internet.’
Like father, like son is an old saying that seems particularly appropriate here.
‘The dad is not a nice man,’ said someone else who had the misfortune to live near the family. ‘He would steal clothes donated to charity, either from outside charity shops or from the clothes banks you find at supermarkets.
‘He would come back with 40 bags a night – he would always go stealing at night – and then sell the clothes on. He didn’t have a job.’
The family, who were on benefits, were eventually evicted from their red-brick terrace house.
‘We saw the family packing up their things leaving the house,’ recalled another resident. ‘And we just thought ‘thank God for that!’
‘The family had no friends around here and the boy was just a menace. He never went to school because he’s been kicked out for his behaviour or just wouldn’t attend anyway.’
Ms Grant was fostering the child when he ran over her and killed her in April
Police were called to the Sheffield suburb after Ms Grant was run over by the boy, then aged 12
‘Out of control’ are the words the neighbour deployed – the same description almost everyone who came into contact with him uses.At the heart of this utterly dysfunctional and chaotic family is what is said to have been a story of domestic violence.
‘She [the wife] is in love with [the husband] even though he is extremely violent toward her,’ said another local who knew all the parties involved in this tragic story. ‘But she is also extremely loyal to him.’
There are also allegations, from a relative who spoke to us, that the boy’s mother became an abuser herself. She pointed to an incident when a sibling was taken to hospital with a broken bone.
‘The doctors said that she was to blame for what happened to the child,’ the relative said. ‘She ran from the hospital with the kids but the police found her. That’s when they took the boy’s siblings.
According to the relative, they were separately put in foster care.
‘She doesn’t really understand how much harm she was doing to the children. It was around a week after the hospital visit that the boy who was now living with the Grants stole the keys to the family car. He was intending to drive to see his mother. As we know, he was initially charged with murder. He would have been one of the youngest children to be prosecuted for murder in Britain in three decades.
At one of those early hearings the boy was observed yawning and had to be told by one of the officers accompanying him to take his feet down from the front wall of the dock.
The boy was arrested shortly after on suspicion of murder and possession of a kitchen knife
The number of children aged between 12 and 17 convicted of murder has quadrupled in five years, according to an analysis of Ministry of Justice data by Channel 4 News. Nine teenagers in that age bracket were convicted in 2017; the figure rose to 36 last year. In court, prosecutor Mark McKone, KC, said Mrs Grant was knocked unconscious and left ‘spreadeagled’ on the road when the boy initially reversed into her.
READ MORE: ‘Looks like I got my first kill’: Chilling words of knife-wielding boy, 13, after he ran over grandmother, 60, in her own car are revealed – as he admits death by dangerous driving
With her husband shouting at the boy to ‘stop’, he then reversed over his foster mother ‘like a dart’. Mr Grant smashed the driver’s window with a brick and the boy ran off.
A wheel of the Honda Civic ended up on top of Mrs Grant who suffered fatal crush injuries to her chest and died at the scene.
In a statement to police the boy said he wanted to drive off to see his natural mother.
‘I had never driven a car before so struggled to do so,’ he said.
The boy told police he remembered seeing Mr and Mrs Grant ‘rush out.’ He added: ‘I was in a state of panic, I did not know Marcia was behind the car. I never intended to hit her or cause her any harm.
‘I saw an opportunity to run from the car when Delroy smashed the window. I was scared. I’m very sorry for what has happened.’
Later, when arrested, the boy asked ‘is she dead’ and said ‘it was accidental, I swear.’ He also said ‘looks like I got my first kill’.
Mr McKone told the court the prosecution couldn’t prove the boy drove over Mrs Grant ‘deliberately’. There was also no evidence to show he looked behind him to see Mrs Grant before knocking her down or could see her lying on the road. This will come as no comfort whatsoever to her family.
‘We strongly believe that the evidence on hand shows a complete disregard for human life and clear premeditation to do serious harm,’ they said. ‘Our mother was killed on her own driveway by a young person wearing a balaclava, carrying a stolen knife, and in the act of stealing her car ran over her not once, but twice.
‘Our mum looked after many vulnerable and troubled children during her time as a foster carer and as a civilian. We have seen these young lives be touched by her love, kindness and generosity.
‘Still, this whole ordeal leaves us with so many unanswered questions and we are completely heartbroken that our mother will not get the justice she deserves.
‘We are truly thankful for all the support we have received from family, friends, and the public. We intend to keep searching for answers.’
The family also said: ‘We also believe that decisions made by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council played a critical role in the circumstances which led to our mum’s death.’
Rotherham Council said an independent review will be held into the case.
The judge said of Mrs Grant: ‘She was the shining lode star of her family and committed foster carer who dedicated herself to making disadvantaged children’s lives better.’
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