A criminal who killed a Lancashire dad-of-three in a bungled airport car-jacking is back in jail – after admitting he had returned to stealing cars.
Craig Abbott, 31, was locked up in 2004 after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Michael Howard whose car he tried to steal as the 57-year-old businessman unloaded luggage outside Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Mr Howard had been due to fly out to Malaga to spend time at a holiday home he had just bought but the car-jacking went wrong and the family man, from Hesketh Bank, near Preston, was crushed to death in front of his wife.
He was caught between his own Volvo, driven by Abbott’s accomplice, and the car Craig Abbott was driving.
Abbott was jailed for seven and a half years.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that in February 2012 Abbott had been involved in the burglary of an black Audi A3 from a property in Rudston Road, Childwall, after hooking the keys through the letterbox.
Geoff Lowe, prosecuting, told the court that the car was low on petrol and ground to a halt just yards from where it was stolen.
Abbott and his brother, Tony, jumped out of the car and ran away but were soon caught by police with the help of a police dog.
He denied having anything to do with the burglary and was bailed but just a few months later was arrested for an attempted burglary in Walton, again following a police chase.
He pleaded guilty to that matter at trial but then jumped bail in January last year and had been on the run until a few months ago.
Abbott, of Benedict Street, Bootle, Merseyside, was given a four-month prison sentence by another judge for absconding which he has already served.
The court heard that Abbott is a “three strikes burglar” subject to a minimum three-year prison sentence because of his repeat offending as well as having separate convictions for theft, escape and obstructing police.
He pleaded guilty to the Childwall burglary and taking a conveyance without authority after forensic evidence proved he had been in the car.
Jonathan Duffy, defending, said it had been 14 years since his last burglary conviction and “leaving out the unfortunate events of 2004” 10 years since his last period of serious offending.