A killer driver went for a McDonald’s after mowing down a teenager in a horrendous hit and run.
Connor Matthews knew he had hit 18-year-old Marcus Simmons-Allen, but carried on regardless even as his windscreen was so badly damaged that he could barely see through it.
Matthews, 23, who had been at a party before getting behind the wheel, was only arrested five days later in Liverpool.
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Marcus, who had dreams of a career in engineering, was pronounced dead hours after the crash on George Richards Way in Altrincham.
He was due to start a college course on the day he died.
Matthews, who has never passed a driving test and was driving a stolen VW Scirocco , hit him as he crossed the road a short distance from Marcus’s home in Broadheath.
He was traveling at about double the 30mph speed limit.
Marcus, the eldest of three siblings, had agreed to go for a walk with a friend, who was having relationship problems and wanted to get a clear head.
Paula Allen, Marcus’s mother, raced to the scene and held her dying son in her arms.
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Fighting back tears as she recalled the moments which continue to haunt her, she said: “I was the first person at Marcus’s side, holding him, trying to find his pulse.
“His lifeless body, my son dying in my arms. Time stood still.
“As the short hours passed, we had to accept that Marcus could not and would not ever survive. That night haunts me.
“A parent should never have to attend their child’s funeral,” she said in court, as she faced down Matthews in the dock.
“It’s something we could never prepare for. In the blink of an eye, he was gone.”
Matthews, who first appeared in court aged 11 for robbery and was later given an anti-social behavior order, was jailed for six years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Marcus and his friend met up just after 9pm on Sunday, October 10 last year.
He gave his mum a hug before he left. She went to the shop to buy some milk.
The friends moved onto George Richards Way, and decided to cross the road.
They checked both ways, and began to cross.
As they got to the middle of the road, his friend noticed a car which he could tell was driving fast.
He took a step back, but Marcus thought it was safer to move forwards to try and avoid the speeding car.
Marcus’s friend tried to grab him, but he was hit and thrown into the air.
Matthews slowed down but then drove off.
Marcus’s friend ran back to tell Ms Allen what had happened, urging her to ‘come quick’.
She drove the short distance to George Richards Way.
At first she thought she saw a bag of flytipped ‘garbage’ on the road. To her horror of her, she realized it was actually her son of her.
Marcus was badly hurt, and had been hit with such force that some of his clothes had been ripped from his body.
Ms Allen said her son was ‘cold’ and the color was ‘draining out of him’, but he still had a pulse.
He was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead hours later.
Just minutes later, Matthews, who had earlier been at a party, went to a nearby McDonald’s drive-thru and purchased food, prosecutor David Lees said.
The car was found abandoned about a mile away.
Police said that Matthews was traveling at between 58mph and 69mph prior to the crash, in a 30mph zone.
He was arrested in Liverpool on October 15, and admitted being the driver.
Matthews said he knew he’d hit someone but ‘panicked’ and drove off.
In court, Ms Allen paid tribute to her ‘loving’ and ‘joyous’ son.
“The death of Marcus has ripped our family apart,” she said.
“Our hearts are continuously running out throughout this process.
“My son left the house to walk with his friend and never returned home.”
Ms Allen said that the scene of her son’s death being so close to home has brought added trauma, to her and her two daughters.
“The anxiety and fear we feel as parents to give the girls the freedom and ability to live their lives is crippling, as each time we hear sirens out hearts skip a beat, and our minds jump straight back to that night.”
She said they have had to find alternative routes, as she can’t bear to drive past the flowers which remain, laid in tribute to her son.
Ms Allen hit out at Matthews’ ‘callous’ actions.
“We will now never get to see our son reach his full potential, hopes and dreams, as this privilege has been stolen from us.
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“We know no sentence would ever return Marcus home, the pieces of my heart I will be forever picking up.”
Defending, Dominic Thomas said of Matthews: “He is profoundly sorry, he will always be profoundly sorry for what he has done.
“There can be no excuse for the speed at which the defendant was driving.
“I don’t, nor does he offer one.”
He has previous convictions for driving without a license and insurance.
Sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley told Matthews: “If you had not been driving when you were not permitted to drive, and at such a grossly excessive speed, he (Marcus) would be alive today.”
She said police were not able to check whether Matthews had been under the influence of drink and drugs at the time, as he was only arrested days later.
The judge said Matthews, of Portland Road, Stretford, would have been jailed for 10 years if he had been convicted after a trial.
She reduced the sentence by a third, to reflect Matthews’ early guilty plea.
The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years.
Matthews was also banned from driving for eight years.