News

Drug driver warned ‘I’m a monster’ before ploughing into kids killing boy, 12

A drugged up driver had warned police “I am a monster and I will kill your children” before he ploughed into youngsters outside a school, killing one and injuring nine others, a court heard.

Terrence Glover, 52, killed 12-year-old Harley Watson and injured nine other children and a woman when he deliberately drove onto the pavement at the school gate and sped towards them.

Stunned eye witnesses described seeing children fly over Glover’s bonnet while others fell to the pavement near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex.

The horror unfolded in front of parents on the afternoon school run in December 2019.

Paranoid schizophrenic Glover may have been experiencing the effects of cocaine at the time of the crash based on a sample he provided the following day, the court was told.

In a chilling comment made to police the following day, Glover said: “This could have been avoided. I spoke to the police so many times.”

Harley’s mum, Jo Fricker, today came face to face with Glover who appeared in the dock alongside NHS and security staff for his sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Ms Fricker sat in the public gallery alongside Harley’s stepdad, with further relatives watching from another courtroom via videolink.

The court heard Glover had warned he was going to kill “loads of children” in evidence from a dictaphone seized on his arrest, and in 999 calls made prior to the crash.

Four months before the crash, he said: “I am being harassed by the neighbours in a very serious way.

“You need to tell Karen, PC Karen West at Loughton Police Station, that if she doesn’t do her job properly loads of children are going to get killed.

“Because I’m going to get into my car and going to run into loads of children.

“You’re gonna get a lot of children killed.”

On another occasion, he said: “I am a monster and I will kill your children.”

Glover had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and believed he had witnessed a serious crime, and those who committed the crime were harassing him.

Christine Agnew QC, prosecuting, said: “The medical evidence states that Mr Glover believed he had witnessed a serious crime and the individuals that committed it were harassing him by sending him letters, shouting over the fence as well as using devices to track him down.

“He said that a man named David Busion was behind this targeted persecution.”

On December 2, 2019, Glover was seen driving erratically in his Ford Ka when he mounted a roundabout before driving onto the pavement and into a group of children as they walked home from school.

One eye witness told of hearing the driver revving his engine in a statement read to court.

Another estimated Glover was driving at between 20 to 30mph and did not appear to brake as he mounted the kerb and drove along the path towards the youngsters.

Eye witness Claire Thomas, a customer services assistant at the school, described seeing the car “speeding up all the time heading towards the children on the pavement” before “sending a girl over the bonnet.”

She added: “The car by this time was fully on the pavement and hit the first group of children, sending a girl over the bonnet.

“The driver did not stop and hit all the other children. Some went over the bonnet, others fell to the side after he had collided with the groups of children.”

Harley was rushed to Whipps Cross Hospital, but died from a head injury just hours after the crash.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, his mum described her son as “caring, selfless and comical young man” with an interest in music, dance and drama who dreamed of becoming an actor.

Ms Fricker told of the last time she saw her son on his way to school when she kissed him goodbye, watched him run to the station and said “have a good day, I love you.”

The mother of another injured child, who cannot be named due to their age, recalled her son calling her that day saying: “Mum I have been hit by a car and so has Harley. I think he’s dead.”

Other mums told of their children’s ongoing injuries, both physical and mental, including flashbacks, sleepless nights and a fear of walking along the pavement.

At a hearing in November, Glover pleaded guilty to killing Harley but denied murder through diminished responsibility.

He also admitted dangerous driving and the attempted murder of nine other children and a woman.

At his sentencing today, a toxicology report concluded Glover could have been experiencing some effects of cocaine at the time of the crash based on a sample he provided the following day.

Further evidence confirmed he began suffering with his mental health in 2012, had a history of drug use and was previously convicted of battery after assaulting a woman in August 2015.

But it was said “nobody felt that Glover’s condition was acute enough to require sectioning” and as a result, he could not be sectioned without his consent which he did not provide.

Essex Police made an appeal to find Glover and he was arrested at 11pm on the day of the crash.

At an earlier court hearing, it was said Glover was sleeping in his car outside a pub near the school when he was detained.

Pub staff recognised the car from a police appeal on social media and phoned the police.

He told officers he had taken paracetamol and sleeping pills after the incident and was taken to Brookfield Hospital due to a suspected overdose, the court heard today.

The sentencing hearing continues.