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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 15:39 GMT
Dinner lady death driver jailed
Paula Stead
Alan Steel did not stop after the crash in which Paula Stead died
A banned driver with 17 previous motoring convictions has been given an indefinite jail sentence for killing a school dinner lady in a hit-and-run.

Heroin user Alan Steel, 26, ploughed into Paula Stead, 32, as she walked home with her 11-year-old daughter, Bridie in Sunderland last September.

Steel had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving and a string of related offences.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Steel was a "thoroughly amoral individual".

The court was told Steel, from St Luke's Road in the town, had 13 previous convictions for driving while disqualified and four previous convictions for dangerous driving.

Alan Steel
Alan Steel had a string of motoring convictions

Mrs Stead, of Forest Road, Sunderland, died after she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee on St Luke's Road on 21 September.

She had recently married her landscape gardener husband John, and was returning from her second job cleaning at a dental surgery when she was fatally injured.

The Cherokee was allegedly being followed by police prior to the incident.

Northumbria Police referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which decided no further action was necessary.

In court, Judge David Hodson imposed an indefinite sentence for public protection and told Steel: "You are a thoroughly amoral individual with no regard for others.

"You are a complete menace to the community."

Steel was told he must serve a minimum of five years in prison.

Police reaction as hit-and-run driver is jailed


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