he daughters of a vulnerable woman run over by a white van driver have tearfully accused her killer of treating her as if she was “worthless”.
James Martin 27, drove away with Stella Frew hanging on to the side of his van in Sutton south London in July last year.
As he zigzagged through parked cars, the 38-year-old victim hit an Audi and fell under the van wheels, the Old Bailey was told.
Martin fled the scene and stopped to buy a drink before returning home.
Members of the public rushed over to help Ms Frew, who had suffered “extensive” injuries and died at the scene.
The court had been told the incident appeared to have been sparked by the defendant’s refusal to pay her money for sex.
It pains us to think how frightened she must have been.
Ms Frew, who had four children and four grandchildren, had also left her handbag in the van, which Martin later dumped on the road.
Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said: “She was obviously very desperate to obtain money and she would not have been willing to leave with out it – and still less without her handbag.”
At an earlier hearing, Martin had pleaded guilty to causing Ms Frew’s death by dangerous driving and appeared in court on Friday for the start of his sentencing.
During the hearing, two of Ms Frew’s grown-up daughters wiped away tears as they spoke of their hurt and grief at the circumstances of her death.
Frankie Cottrell said: “Stella was a vulnerable young woman exploited by many due to her kindness, especially by men.”
She said her mother had been abused throughout her life, adding: “It pains us that Stella’s life has been ended by the actions of a male too.”
Ms Cottrell said her mother never got to move on from the traumas that had plagued her life.
In her life she had always been abused and hurt by men and that is why this pains us all so much – that she had died due to one too.
She thanked the people who helped in her last moments, saying: “It pains us to think how frightened she must have been.”
Ms Cottrell said: “Learning the fact my mum’s bag was taken and later discarded on the road with all her belongings has hurt us all.
“Knowing it could have been returned or handed in and not dumped like it was worthless.”
She went on: “She was somebody, she had a family who love her dearly.
“Mr Martin may have thought my mum was worthless but to us she was everything.”
Georgie Cottrell described her mother as “the kindest, most warm-hearted woman”.
She said: “In her life she had always been abused and hurt by men and that is why this pains us all so much – that she had died due to one too.”
Addressing her killer in the dock, she said: “James Martin, you will never forget my mum’s name – one in a million, Stella Frew.”
Mr Polnay suggested that Martin’s offence was made worse because he had driven dangerously in order to avoid paying Ms Frew, his failure to stop after running her over, and the disposal of her handbag.
In mitigation, Jeremy Dean QC said Martin was a “decent man” who had killed Ms Frew in a “few fraught seconds” of an otherwise exemplary life.
Mr Dean insisted that Martin did not see the victim as worthless and her death had a “profound” impact on him.
Judge Richard Marks QC adjourned sentencing until Monday morning.