Lorry driver jailed for road rage murder

05/08/2014

A lorry driver who drove his juggernaut over a fellow driver after the two men had argued has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

Chester Crown Court heard that Mark Slater, 47, had driven over Trevor Allen on the A57 Manchester Road near Warrington early on 15 February 2014.

The court heard that the two men had been involved in some sort of argument in the minutes leading up to the tragedy.

Slater had parked his lorry in the road, in front of Mr Allen's van and Mr Allen, 57, had then pulled out and parked his vehicle in front of Slater's lorry.

Mr Allen then got out of his van and walked towards the lorry. The court heard he was a well built man and was wearing a high visibility jacket at the time.

He stood in front of the lorry with outstretched arms. At this point, Salter simply drove his 17 tonne lorry forward over Mr Allen, leaving him dead from multiple injuries.

Slater admitted driving over Mr Allen but said he hadn't seen him and denied murder.

Prosecuting, Ian Unsworth QC, challenged this, pointing out Mr Allen's size and the fact Mr Allen was wearing a high visibility jacket at the time.

Slater was also heard to tell emergency services that Mr Allen had been in a vehicle but had come out of it at the time of the incident.

The jury found Mark Slater guilty of murder. He must serve at least 15 years of a life sentence before he can be considered for release.

Speaking after his conviction, Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire, said: "Our case was that Mark Slater clearly saw Trevor Allen standing in front of his lorry before driving over him and killing him in a fit of rage. The jury agreed and found him guilty of murder.

"This wanton, fleeting act of violence cruelly and tragically ended Trevor Allen's life. Mark Slater's claims that it was accidental and that he didn't see Mr Allen, wearing a high visibility vest and standing in front of his lorry, were clearly contradicted by the evidence and the jury agreed."