A man who fatally ran over a female acquaintance with his car and then drove at speed into the front of an letting agency branch has been convicted of her murder.
In a court case that has attracted national coverage, Chelmsford Crown Court heard that 48-year-old Simon Whittle ran over 41-year-old Natalie Hastings a year ago in central Hemel Hempstead before then ramming his Volvo XC90 car into the front of Space Lettings.
The branch was boarded up in the days following the incident (pictured, above), and friends and family of Hastings attached flowers and messages to the drainpipe on the exterior of the office.
Whittle denied murder during his trial. The court heard that while driving down Queensway in Hemel Hempstead during the early hours of January 15, 2018, Whittle pursued Hastings in his Volvo as she ran down the street in an attempt to evade him.
He shouted ‘you’re dead’ as he first struck her and then collided into the window of the letting agency.
Hastings died the next day from her injuries. Whittle, who has a prosthetic leg and suffers from Parkinson’s disease, tested positive for a cocaine substitute when police apprehended him at the scene.
Local media report that Whittle bore a grudge against Hastings after she and her boyfriend asked him to move out of their house where he had been lodging until shortly before the incident.