Father who twice drove over daughter Lauren Malt, 19, was 'consumed with anger', court hears

Lauren Malt, 19, died of died of significant traumatic injuries to her chest and abdomen.
Lauren Malt, 19, died of died of significant traumatic injuries to her chest and abdomen.

A teenager was crushed to death by her father, who twice ran over her body with his car as he was "totally consumed with anger" amid a family break-up, a court has heard.

Nigel Malt, 44, killed Lauren Malt outside the home in West Winch in Norfolk where the 19-year-old was living with her mother and younger siblings on the evening of January 23 this year, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Malt, who was estranged from his wife and children, was living separately at a different address.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said Malt argued with Lauren and threatened her boyfriend, Arthur Marnell, with a crowbar in Leete Way before he "reversed his car into and knocked over his daughter".

"Having knocked her to the ground he then reversed his car over her," the barrister said.

"He stopped, then he drove the car forward again over her body.

"These actions killed Lauren Malt, and later examination of her body revealed bruising, lacerations and crushing injuries to her head, torso, arms and legs."

Nigel Malt, of Lynn Road, King's Lynn, denies murder.

A post-mortem examination recorded that she died of significant traumatic injuries to her chest and abdomen.

"Effectively she was crushed to death," Mr Jackson said.

Malt, of Lynn Road, King's Lynn, denies murder.

Mr Jackson said Malt's relationships were marred by "drinking, drug-taking, anger", and that after he "failed in his bid to inflict violence" on Lauren's boyfriend and she told him to go home "he was totally consumed with anger".

Lauren Malt was killed outside her home in West Winch in Norfolk.

He added that the "estrangement from his wife and family no doubt fuelled his anger".

"It may seem hard to tell why it was that on that evening in January he behaved with such deliberate and direct anger and violence," said Mr Jackson.

"As far as one can tell the answer lies in the inability to deal with his family without resorting to anger and violence."

Malt's wife, Karen Malt, had reported him to police in April 2021 for assaulting her, the prosecutor said.

Malt was arrested and bailed with conditions not to contact his wife, go to the shop where she worked or go to her home.

By January this year, his wife was estranged from him and living with her children in West Winch.

Mr Jackson said that, on the evening Lauren was killed, Malt breached his bail conditions by going to the shop where his wife worked, drove to her home and made repeated phone calls.

"The defendant's relationship with his family was broken and it was something he wasn't prepared to accept," said the prosecutor.

While at the shop where his wife was, he made 19 attempted calls to the landline of her home, where Lauren and her boyfriend were, between 6.25pm and 6.52pm.

He had driven there earlier but nobody answered the door to him.

"Those persistent calls, you can see, went unanswered," said Mr Jackson.

"The prosecution say by now the defendant's anger was escalating.

"He told Karen Malt the door at Leete Way was locked and if he wanted to get in he would.

"He said he had a crowbar in his car and if he had to he would use it."

He made three further calls, with the final one answered and lasting one minute and six seconds.

"It appears Lauren did answer that call," Mr Jackson said.

"The defendant, of course, knows full well what was said in that call to Lauren, but Lauren's now dead.

"Within two minutes of that call ending, the defendant then left the West Winch shop and drove directly to Leete Way.

"Something in that call caused him to leave and go back to Leete Way."

Malt parked in the driveway, argued with Lauren and her boyfriend, Mr Marnell, and tried to assault Mr Marnell with a crowbar, Mr Jackson said.

Mr Marnell escaped unharmed.

Malt then began to drive his black Mercedes saloon "at speed", the prosecutor said.

After running over his daughter, a witness shouted: "You've killed her, you've f****** killed her."

On footage recorded at around 7.25pm, Malt said: "Don't get the police." Instead, he put his dying daughter into his car.

Mr Jackson said: "Having put Lauren into the front passenger seat of his car, he drove her to the shop at West Winch.

"He phoned Karen, telling her his daughter was dead, he was bringing Lauren to her."

He said that on CCTV footage from outside the shop "Karen Malt was seen desperately trying to comfort Lauren".

"And the defendant, as he made clear at the scene as he left, maintaining control throughout, taking her to the hospital," said Mr Jackson.

Allison Summers QC, defending, suggested that what happened was an accident and asked jurors to consider if Malt "actually saw his daughter at or near to the back of his car".

She said he "had been drinking and was to a greater or lesser extent under the influence of alcohol".

Ms Summers suggested Malt was "so distracted by his own anger towards Arthur Marnell, so hellbent on having the last word against Arthur Marnell that instead of... making the proper checks to make sure no-one was behind him, he reversed at speed and in temper, not to kill or to cause his daughter serious harm".

"To get back up that road to where Arthur Marnell was so he could continue with that argument," she said.

The trial, due to last two weeks, continues.

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