Connor Marsden jailed after fatal hit-and-run of 10-year-old schoolgirl Melissa Tate as CCTV shows him fleeing

A “cowardly” driver who left a 10-year-old schoolgirl to die in the road after a fatal hit-and-run has been jailed and CCTV showing his actions after the incident has been released.

By Faye Dixon
Thursday, 12th December 2019, 5:19 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 9:09 am

On Thursday, December 12, Connor Marsden, 24, was sentenced to seven years and four months in jail for causing the death of Melissa Tate on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton on September 25. He was also handed an eight year four month driving ban.

Marsden had been drinking pints and was driving his van with no licence or insurance.

Instead of remaining at the scene and attempting to save her life, he drove away, later fleeing on foot. The video shows him immediately after abandoning his vehicle.

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Marsden was charged with a series of offences including causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of the collision. Photo: Northumbria Police

Melissa was rushed to hospital by paramedics but sadly died in hospital the following day.

Marsden was found and arrested while hiding at an address in Easington while trying to hide from officers.

The 24-year-old, of Hazeldene Avenue, Kenton, pleaded guilty to all counts on his first appearance at Newcastle Crown Court on October 28.

Marsden admitted a total of seven offences including causing death by dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving with no licence, failing to stop, failing to report an accident, causing a death while uninsured and causing a death while driving without a licence.

Marsden has been jailed. Photo: Northumbria Police

After the case, investigating officer Sergeant Ray Lowery said: “His actions that day were disgusting. While under the influence of alcohol, he got behind the wheel and then drove at high speeds through busy residential areas.

“The way he was driving that vehicle left Melissa with no chance of survival but rather than face up to his actions he fled like a coward. I find it difficult to imagine anyone leaving a person to die in the road, never mind a 10-year-old child.”

Melissa was a proud member of Northumbria Police’s Mini Police scheme and a tree will be planted in the Force’s memorial garden in her memory.

In a statement, Melissa’s family said: “I hope that Connor Marsden truly understands what he has done to our family and I hope the guilt of taking Melissa from us lives with him forever.”

Melissa had been playing with friends on the street when she crossed the road and was hit by Marsden. Photo: Northumbria Police
Officers from Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department launched an investigation to identify the driver responsible for taking the schoolgirl’s life. Photo: Northumbria Police