"Maniac" Driver Who Was Jailed For Life For Killing A Dinner Lady Has Absconded From An Open Prison

A man described as a "maniac" driver has absconded from an open prison after being sentenced to life for killing a school dinner lady. Alan Paul Steel was jailed in 2007 indefinitely for public protection.

Alan Paul Steel
Alan Paul Steel killed 32-year-old Paula Stead in September 2006

Alan Paul Steel had a long list of previous driving convictions, including driving while disqualified and dangerous driving, before he ploughed into 32-year-old school dinner lady Paula Stead in September 2006, killing her.

Steel also crashed into her 11-year-old daughter Bridie, and her cousin's 10-year-old daughter Danica Green, who had to have her right leg amputated below the knee due to her injuries.

41-year-old Steel, from Sunderland, England, was given an indefinite sentence for public protection after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, and a string of other related driving offences.

On Tuesday, he left the open prison at HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire at approximately 1.15 am, and has not been seen since.

Derbyshire Police described Steel as white, 6ft tall, with brown hair and green eyes. They appealed to anyone who thinks they might have seen him, or believes they know where he is to contact them urgently.

When Steel was sentenced for the death of Ms Stead, the judge at Newcastle Crown Court in 2007 described him as "a thoroughly amoral individual with no regard for others, a complete menace to the community."

She added that it was "as bad a case of causing death by dangerous driving that it has ever been my misfortune to come across".

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