Man jailed for Doncaster caravan park hit and run death

A 19 year old man who knocked down, ran over, and killed a woman as he attempted to escape a caravan park where he had been stealing scrap metal has been jailed for seven years.

Costica Mihai ran down 52-year-old Tracey McFarquhar in his van as she tried to stop him leaving Whitegates Caravan Park, in Dunscroft, near Doncaster, in March.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton, the Senior Investigating Officer said:

The circumstances in which Miss McFarquhar died are tragic and made even more so by the fact what happened was witnessed by her partner and neighbours. My thoughts are today with all of her loved ones.

Tracey McFarquhar came out of her property on the site, along with her partner, after hearing an argument break out.  The site owner had disturbed Mihai as he tried to steal scrap metal from the premises. Tracey McFarquhar helped in trying to stop him from leaving. While others called the police, she stood in front of his red Citroen Berlingo van. She was knocked to the floor and run over as Mihai sped away. She was sadly pronounced dead at the scene as a result of multiple injuries

Mihai, of St Catherine’s Avenue, Balby, claimed he had not seen Miss McFarquhar as he drove away. He was cleared of murder following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court but convicted of manslaughter.

In passing sentence, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said:

The sentence I pass upon you for manslaughter in no way reflects the value of her life and the fact that you extinguished it.

All human life is of infinite value. I have read the personal statements of the family members of Tracey, including her daughter and brother. Both they and others have suffered considerably due to your criminal actions.

You were driving the car exceptionally dangerously when you had no business to be driving at all without supervision and the car was defective. You left that poor woman dead in a road.

After the case, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton said:

“While I respect the decision made by the jury and the sentence passed today by the Judge, I know it will offer absolutely no comfort to Tracey’s family and friends, who are still grieving today and my thoughts are with them.

He added:

I would like to pay tribute to the family of Tracey, who have attended court throughout and listened to harrowing evidence.

This is a tragic case that has deeply affected them, as demonstrated in their Victim Impact Statements.

They have acted with great dignity throughout, but I know that Mihai’s plea and today’s sentencing will offer them little to no comfort to them at a time when they are very much still grieving.

A 17-year-old boy who was travelling in the van with Mihai was also arrested. He has been released from the investigation with no further action to be taken.

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Mary Vickers moved to North East Lincolnshire in 2010, from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, to become Urban and Industrial Chaplain NELincs. Made redundant in 2017, she's maintained many of her connections within the business, faith, and other local communities. She's also decided to stay here rather than return to either the south or her husband's native Yorkshire, so that she can continue to enjoy and help promote the positives of NELincs.