No mercy for Islington killer who mowed down woman outside Euston station

A MUGGER who murdered a BBC costume designer by deliberately mowing her down outside Euston station must serve at least 16 years behind bars for his crime, a top judge has ruled.

Heroin addict Mark Woolley, a plasterer and tiler from Islington, was jailed for life in December 2001 after he knocked over and killed Elizabeth Sherlock as she desperately tried to get her handbag back.

The bag had been snatched by Woolley’s girlfriend Jackie Moorhouse, but brave Ms Sherlock jumped on the bonnet when the pair tried to speed off.

Callous Woolley refused to stop though, and instead knocked Ms Sherlock off the bonnet and drove over her with both front and rear wheels.

Two witnesses saw Woolley smiling as he drove away and Mrs Sherlock, from Chiswick, died a few hours later.

Today, after reviewing the case at London’s High Court, Mr Justice Superstone ruled that 16 years in jail is the least Woolley deserves for his crime.

Describing Mrs Sherlock’s death as “an appalling tragedy”, the judge accepted that Woolley had been desperate to get away and had not set out to hurt anyone that day.

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He had a long list of previous convictions connected to his drug addiction and the judge said the focus of his days was to find cash to pay for his next fix.

The judge said Woolley now accepted “full responsibility” for Ms Sherlock’s death and was making good progress in custody, taking strides to beat his addiction.

However, observing that Mrs Sherlock “must have been terrified once she realised Woolley would not stop and that he intended to run her over”, the judge said he could not reduce the killer’s minimum jail term below 16 years.

Even after time spent on remand before sentencing is taken into account, today’s ruling means Woolley cannot even apply for release on parole until 2017.

Once his minimum term expires, he will still only be freed if the can convince the Parole Board he poses no serious danger to the public. When released, he will remain on perpetual life licence, subject to prison recall if he puts a foot wrong ever again.

Ms Moorhouse had joined the BBC in 1983 and worked on shows with stars such as Rolf Harris and Ben Elton, and on Last of the Summer Wine and Comic Relief.