Monthly Archive: February 2010

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Lorry driver hanged himself after killing girl, nine


Stacey Lawrence travelled with Darren Walker in his lorry

A man who killed his fiancee’s daughter committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree, an inquest has ruled.

The body of nine-year-old Stacey Lawrence, of West Bromwich, was found in the cab of Darren Walker’s lorry in Northamptonshire last August.

She had been on a delivery run with Mr Walker, 40, whose body was found in nearby woodland.

Coroner Anne Pember heard Mr Walker had told his fiancee he would rather kill himself than go to prison.

It later emerged Stacey had been sexually assaulted before she died.

The hearing at Kettering Magistrates’ Court heard he had previously told his fiancee, Roxanne Lawrence, that he would kill himself rather than go to jail.

Ms Pember read a statement from Ms Lawrence, who was not at the inquest, which said Mr Walker previously told her and her daughter Emma that if he ever got angry with his estranged wife and did something wrong, he would commit suicide to avoid prison.

‘Dirty and inappropriate’

The lorry driver took Stacey on a delivery run to Spar stores in Norfolk on 28 August 2009.

The alarm was raised when they did not return and a tracking device on the lorry was used to trace it to a layby on the A605 in Warmington.

Stacey’s partially-clothed body was found in the lorry cab, the inquest heard.

She had been strangled with a ligature.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Walker died of hanging and pathologist Guy Rutty said marks on his body were consistent with attempts to hang himself from the tree.

Darren Walker was in a long-term relationship with Stacey’s mother

In a statement read to the inquest, Ms Lawrence described judging Mr Walker as “dirty and inappropriate” when they met in August 2007, but eventually got together with him in March 2008 after both their relationships broke down.

She said he was “very romantic” and “very much a family man” but that he once “snapped” and smashed a car window when she discovered he had slept with his estranged wife.

He and Stacey had been on a few lorry trips before, and although he was concerned what people might think about her sleeping overnight in the lorry with him, Ms Lawrence said she never had any cause to worry.

“I can’t believe on that Friday morning Darren left our family home as the man I loved and by Saturday he was the man responsible for my nine-year-old daughter’s death,” she said.

“I am shocked that the man I was intending to marry could have done this.

“I hate Darren for what he has done to me and my family.”

Ms Pember said: “From the evidence I have heard, I am quite satisfied that this man made a firm decision to end his life.”

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