Daughter's anger at Exmouth killer's freedom plea
THE daughter of a popular mum-of-five who died after she was struck by drunk-driver Kevin Stagg, has expressed her family's upset at a letter he wrote from his jail cell proclaiming his innocence.
Stagg was found guilty of causing 43-year-old Sue Dare's death by careless driving, while over the alcohol limit. He was jailed for nine years at Exeter Crown Court in February 2011.
The 57-year-old was acquitted of the alternative charge of causing death by dangerous driving. Stagg denied both charges.
Miss Dare, from Exmouth, was trapped by Stagg's car for 200 metres as he drove along unaware, to the Clinton Arms in Littleham, on July 6, 2008. He was two-and-a-half times over the alcohol limit. He fled the scene but was arrested at home. Stagg's trial was initially postponed when he absconded to Spain.
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During the trial, his defence counsel Rupert Taylor said Stagg was remorseful for the tragedy. Judge Cottle added it was probable that Miss Dare was already lying on the floor in front of the car when she was struck but was "quite satisfied" that she was alive at the time.
He said Miss Dare would probably have survived if Stagg had stopped to check why his car was travelling with difficulty.
Now, from his cell at Channings Wood Prison, Newton Abbott, Stagg has written a letter calling for an inquest and "urgent and proper investigation into the sudden death" of Miss Dare.
He claims a police witness account states Miss Dare was already prone in the road when she was hit by his car.
Stagg claims that details in her postmortem report reveal that she had suffered a head injury which she could have killed her before he ploughed into her.
He claims her postmortem report is flawed, claiming the doctor who performed the second postmortem and the pathologist were "misled" having been told Miss Dare was knocked to the ground.
Stagg's petition has caused renewed anguish and upset for Miss Dare's family and friends.
Her daughter Sammie, 23, told the Echo his letter had made her feel angry and upset. "He killed my mum and he's denying it. He obviously was responsible otherwise my mum would still be here," she said.
"He was convicted by a jury who had all the evidence before them. I couldn't believe what I was reading. It is unnecessary.
"Some of it made me laugh, it's so ridiculous, how he classes himself as a victim of injustice.
"If you've done the crime then do the time. He could at least show some remorse."
Sammie said she found it hard to comment on some of Stagg's claims such as whether her mum was already dead when he hit her.
"This is not just me this has affected but my three brothers and my grandparents, my mum's mum and dad, and her five brothers and sisters," she continued.
"My nan has always been the strong one who looks after us, she's the rock of the family, but this has upset her deeply too.
"And it has upset her friends – she was a really popular person, the life and soul of the party.
"This letter has shocked a lot of people. The last few years have been horrible, especially when Christmas or birthdays come around when we're all supposed to be together.
"We all miss her so much.
"It will be five years this year since she died. It's still really hard to see her name in the papers and means we have to confront it all again.
"We're never going to get over what happened but we're trying to get through it. But the more things like this keep happening, the harder that's going to be, it's like starting afresh again.
"I hope this will be the end of it. I just want my mum to be able to rest in peace."
Daniel Moore, 25, a baker at Moores Pasties in Exmouth, who knew Sue, added: "This letter and its circulation has been awful for Sue's family and friends. It's brought back the trauma of what happened and they've had to face it again. He was convicted and this letter has brought a lot of upset."