...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
A man accused of killing a young woman by running her over with his car has told a court that he had been drinking heavily and taking cocaine before the incident.
Stephen McHugh is accused of causing the death of 22-year-old Rebecca Steer in Oswestry, Shropshire, by mounting the pavement outside a takeaway in his car.
While he admits the lesser charge of manslaughter, he denies murder.
McHugh also admits assaulting Kyle Roberts, who was also hit by the car, but denies trying to cause him grievous bodily harm.
McHugh told Stafford Crown Court that he was trying to scare a group of people and had not intended to harm anyone.
He said he had drunk six beers and consumed seven lines of cocaine, as well as drinks containing Disaronno and vodka, before the incident.
The court heard that he had never had a driving lesson or held a licence, and that he had traded in a manual Volkswagen Passat for the automatic Volvo eight days before Steer’s death.
McHugh told the court that he had been trying to manoeuvre his car alongside the group of people in Willow Street in order to pick up a friend.
He denied that he had intended to use his vehicle as a weapon, saying: “I am not an angry person.
When I am drunk I am a happy drunk. I made a bit of a tit of myself trying to get parallel with them. I was embarrassed more than anything.”
Prosecutors allege that McHugh deliberately drove into the group of people.
However, McHugh told the jury that he had not considered what he was doing: “I didn’t really think about it. It was a moment of stupidity.
I just wanted to get out of there… I panicked, I carried on driving. Stupidity, I hold my hands up to that all day long.”