LONDON (AP) — A British foster child who told police “Looks like I got my first kill” after he ran over the 60-year-old woman caring for him with her own car was sentenced Wednesday to two years in custody.
The boy, who was 12 at the time, fatally struck Marcia Grant when she tried to stop him from taking her car and fled the scene on April 5. When he was arrested about an hour later, he used a series of expletives and threatened to kill the family of a police woman, prosecutors said.
“Is she dead?” he asked officers, according to prosecutor Gary Crothers at an earlier hearing. “Looks like I got my first kill.” He then swore it had been an accident.
The boy, now 13, cannot be named because of his age. He previously pleaded guilty in Sheffield Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving. Prosecutors dropped a murder charge.
Grant had been a foster mother since 2016 and was considered a pillar of the community in the Greenhill area of Sheffield in Northern England, police said.
Her daughter, Gemma Grant, told the court through tears that her mother “wanted to pull the world into a hug" and would lift up anyone facing adversity.
“It floors me that the boy that killed her was greeted by a massive hug, given lots of assurance and her trademark warmth," Grant said. "We will never forgive him and will carry this trauma with us always.”
The boy was planning on taking the car to visit his family when he stole Grant's keys, he told police in a statement. He said he grabbed a kitchen knife to protect himself if he was attacked while traveling alone.
He slipped out of the house and started the car.
“Someone’s taking the car,” Marcia Grant shouted and ran outside, her husband Delroy Grant said. She didn't initially realize the child they were caring for was driving.
She stood behind the vehicle to block it but the boy shifted into reverse, knocking her over.
As his wife lay with her legs under the car, Delroy Grant smashed the driver's side window and pleaded with the boy to stop.
But the car lurched backward “at some speed, causing the catastrophic injuries," Crothers said.
The boy, who later claimed he had been a “gangster” since he was 9, said “sorry” as he ran away, prosecutor Mark McKone said Wednesday.
“I was in a state of panic, I didn’t know Marcia was behind the car," the boy told police in his statement. "I never intended to hit her or cause her any harm. I’m very sorry for what has happened.”
Prosecutors said there was no evidence he intended to harm Grant.
Grant's family disputed that in a statement criticizing prosecutors, saying they were “completely heartbroken that our mother will not get the justice she deserves."
“We strongly believe that the evidence on hand shows a complete disregard for human life and clear premeditation to do serious harm,” they wrote in the statement posted on the South Yorkshire Police website.
Because of his age, the boy will be held in a secure youth center rather than an adult prison. He was also disqualified from driving for six years.
This has been corrected to reflect that the boy allegedly threatened to kill the family of a police woman, not the officer herself.