Sunderland killer’s freedom bid refused

John Stead  whos wife Paula was killed by a driver on drugs'Pic by John Millard
John Stead whos wife Paula was killed by a driver on drugs'Pic by John Millard
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KILLER Alan Steel has failed in his bid for freedom, the Echo can reveal.

Steel was high on heroin when he mowed down and killed much-loved mum Paula Stead.

Alan Steel has been refused parole

Alan Steel has been refused parole

The 30-year-old also injured Paula’s daughter, Bridie and niece, Danica Green, who lost her right leg as a result of the tragedy.

But little more than four years into his indefinite sentence, Steel applied for parole in the hope of gaining his freedom.

However, the Echo has learned that his efforts failed after prison bosses turned him down and refused him a move to a lower security jail.

Today, Paula’s widower John Stead, 42, welcomed the news and vowed to continue his fight to keep his wife’s killer behind bars.

He said: “He should never be allowed out, not after the offences he committed against my wife, daughter and niece.

“I’m glad to see the parole system is sticking to its guns and not being soft. That’s great and I’m over the moon.

“As far as I know this is the first time he’s applied and I’ve been told he won’t get his next parole review until February 2013.”

Steel, of St Luke’s Road, was given an indefinite sentence with a minimum of 13 years in January 2007, after admitting causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop or report an accident, driving with no insurance and driving while disqualified.

But his sentence was reduced for his guilty plea, and cut by half again in accordance with Home Office guidelines.

John, of South Hylton, has had to raise his daughter alone while grieving for the loss of his wife.

The construction worker said: “As far as I’m concerned what he did was manslaughter, but because he was in a car its deemed causing death my dangerous driving.

“In my eyes he should have got life, he should be serving the maximum sentence possible. He doesn’t deserve to be a member of society.”

John admits life has been enormously difficult for him since Paula was killed but points out that people forget one death can affect so many different people; sisters, daughters, cousins.

Bridie, now 16, has left Academy 360 in Pennywell and has joined the Royal Navy, although she will have to wait a couple of years before travelling.

It was on September 21, 2006, that Steel, speeding in a Cherokee Jeep, mounted the pavement on St Luke’s Road, ploughing into Paula, 32, Bridie and Danica, both 11 at the time.

Paula was confirmed dead on arrival at hospital, while Bridie suffered serious head, arm and leg injuries.

Danica suffered serious massive injuries and would later have her leg amputated. Her Grandmother, Liz Green, 53, today welcomed the decision to refuse Steel his freedom.

Liz, of St Luke’s Road, Ford Estate, said: “We would all be gutted if he got out. They should keep him in there for as long as possible.

“Danica is now 16 and she is very concerned about hearing this.”

Liz, 53, and her family are still making regular trips to the hospital where Danica receives ongoing treatment for injuries to her left leg and foot.

John today vowed to fight any future attempts by Steel to regain his freedom.

He said: “I have an option to have my say, to express my views and I will make sure I do when the time come round again.”

Twitter: @sunechocrime