Man given life sentence for murdering friend outside Stockport pub

|News, Driving offences , Violent crime

A 30-year-old man who ran over his friend whilst driving at a number of people outside a club has been given a life sentence for murdering his friend and attempting to murder another man.

Jonathan Snape drove his friend's Audi at a number of people, one being Aaron Baker, whom he had just been fighting with earlier that evening, outside the Salisbury club in Brinnington, Stockport on 27 May 2018.

After the landlady of the club challenged him, he behaved aggressively towards her and caused damage to the club. He hit Aaron Baker with the Audi causing him to be thrown in the air, bounce off the windscreen and clear of the car. His friend, Nathan Marshall, who was stood near the group, was also struck and ended up on the floor. After colliding with a parked vehicle, he then reversed over his friend, before driving forward again.

At one point, Jonathan Snape got out of the car and began dragging Nathan Marshall along the road towards the car, before dropping him onto the tarmac. He directed a one-finger gesture to shocked onlookers before driving off at speed, eventually colliding with barriers on the M60 motorway at Stockport, abandoning the car and fleeing on foot. He handed himself into police 24 hours later.

Mr Baker sustained wounds requiring stitches to his face and multiple bruises and abrasions. Mr Marshall suffered multiple injuries including fractured skull, ribs and a fatal brain injury.

Mr Snape pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on a man and a woman inside the pub and dangerous driving.

Timothy Greenald for the CPS said: "Jonathan Snape who was drunk and angry, embarked upon a trail of destruction that night with ultimately fatal consequences. He showed utter disregard for the victims of his violent outbursts as he threw chairs, knocked a woman unconscious and broke a man's jaw. 

"After being aggressive with the landlady, he caused damage to the club. He then started fighting with Mr Baker, before he got in his friend's car and using the car as a weapon, he deliberately drove at Mr Baker, colliding with him and causing his friend fatal injuries.

"We have worked closely with the police from the outset to build a strong case against him, which included CCTV, expert evidence and a considerable number of witness statements to prove that by driving his car at the group, he had attempted to murder a man and by doing so he did murder his friend. After hearing the evidence, the jury have found him guilty of these offences.

"I would like to thank all the witnesses for coming forward to support the investigation and prosecution case which has helped us bring Jonathan Snape to justice. I would also like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Nathan Marshall."

Notes to editors

  • Timothy Greenald is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Jonathan Snape was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 24 years for murder, 12 years imprisonment (to be served concurrent to life sentence) for attempted murder, 15 months' imprisonment (concurrent)  for GBH, four years' imprisonment (concurrent) for ABH, he was disqualified from driving for 26 years for dangerous driving and ordered to take an extended re-test.

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