Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fawley dad's hammer attack on children 'not foreseeable'

Owen Scott Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Owen Scott was jailed for a minimum of 24 years

A father's attempt to murder four children with a hammer before causing a deliberate car crash could not have been predicted, a report has said.

Owen Scott, 31, attacked the children before driving into a wall at 92mph with them inside the vehicle.

Scott, of Fawley, Hampshire, was jailed for life following the incident near Penistone, South Yorkshire, in 2017.

There was no prior indication that the children were at risk, Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) said.

'Life-threatening injuries'

Scott collected his three children and his step-daughter from their mother's home in Southampton before driving them to the Isle of Wight, Liverpool and Greater Manchester, a court previously heard.

He struck them with multiple blows from the hammer before crashing into the stone wall of the Travellers Inn on 23 August.

Two girls, aged seven and eight, and two boys, aged 21 months and nine months, suffered life-threatening injuries, the SCB said.

One of his daughters will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Image copyright Bob Martin/Geograph
Image caption Scott deliberately drove his car at 92mph into a pub's stone wall

Scott subsequently admitted four charges of attempted murder and one count of dangerous driving.

The Solicitor General later increased his minimum jail term from 14 to 24 years.

Social workers investigated an anonymous call about the children's care after he had separated from their mother in late 2016, the board's Learning Review Report said.

"The one assessment by Children's Services reasonably concluded that there was no evidence that the children were at risk from harm," the report said.

Police had been aware of "low-level domestic conflict" between the parents and suspected Scott of possible involvement with drugs, it added.

However it concluded: "No information was known to the mother, or to any of the services or professionals that could have predicted the serious harm that was ultimately caused to the children."

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