A father who murdered his daughter by running her over twice called his estranged wife to tell her their child was dead but hung up before saying which one.
Nigel Malt, 45, was jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday and was said to have been “totally consumed with anger” as he reversed his car over his 19-year-old daughter Lauren Malt in West Winch in Norfolk then stopped and drove forward over her body on 23 January this year, after he threatened her boyfriend, Arthur Marnell, with a crowbar.
The court heard that Malt called his estranged wife to tell her Lauren was dead but hung up before saying which of their four children was dead.
Karen Malt, fighting back tears as she read her victim impact statement at Norwich Crown Court, said: “I remember the call saying ‘I will bring your daughter over, she's dead’.
“I was screaming 'which one' to him down the phone but he wouldn't tell me.”
She said that when Malt said he was driving to her, she thought that her daughter “must be okay”. But when his car arrived and she saw inside the passenger door “the feeling of dread started to come over me”.
“I just knew she wasn't going to make it,” said Ms Malt.
Ms Malt said Lauren was “stuffed in the footwell” and felt sick when she saw the teenager in her state.
“I couldn’t believe she had been stuffed down there. Seeing her in that position for me was worse than knowing she had been run over.
She said she tried to move her daughter into the seat, with no help from the defendant.
“I can’t fathom how a parent could kill their own child,” she said.
“How do you forgive?”
She said she will “forever remember that night and think about ‘what if’”, including what if she had left the relationship sooner.
Malt ran over his daughter outside the home where she lived with her mother and younger siblings. Lauren Malt was pronounced dead at a hospital in King’s Lynn, where the defendant took her.
Judge Anthony Bate said Malt used his car as a “lethal weapon in an alcohol-fuelled rage in a residential street”.
He told Malt: “She (Lauren) should have been safe in her father’s company.”
The judge sentenced Malt to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years, which is the amount of time he must spend behind bars before he can be considered for release. He said Malt was tested by police at the time and found to have 170 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, more than the legal limit of 80 milligrams.
Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, earlier told jurors that Malt argued with his daughter and threatened her boyfriend, Arthur Marnell, with a crowbar in Leete Way.
Malt, of Lynn Road, King’s Lynn, denied his daughter’s murder, claiming it was an accident, but was found guilty following an earlier trial.
Mr Jackson said that after Malt “failed in his bid to inflict violence” on his daughter’s boyfriend and she told him to go home, “he was totally consumed with anger”.
Allison Summers KC, mitigating, said: “Had he not been drinking, it’s highly unlikely he would have behaved in the way that he did.”
The judge directed that the two counts of assault of Karen Malt will lie on the file.