Steven Mills, 29, of Closes Side Lane, East Bridgford, was sentenced to 22 months in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Jack Archer in a hit-and-run crash and trying to destroy evidence by setting his car on fire, according to BBC News. At around 10:10 p.m. on July 25, 2016, Mills was traveling in his dark colored Audi on Chapel Lane when he slammed into the teen, knocking him off of his bicycle.
In lieu of stopping to help the teen who was on his way home, or calling emergency medical services, he fled the scene. Afterward, Mills reportedly set fire to his vehicle in an effort to destroy evidence. Nearly four hours after the hit-and-run crash, he turned himself into the Carlton Police Station.
Meanwhile, Jack was pronounced dead at the scene. His family stated that he was “a handsome, vibrant and enthusiastic young man with an enviable passion for life. For his life to be cut short in such a brutal way is a huge injustice to him and no sentence will ever compensate for that. He had so much ahead of him which has now been lost because of a senseless act of carelessness and lack of compassion.”
“Finally, the last word must be for our dear son. We love you and will always love and keep your memory alive forever,” the family continued. “You will never be forgotten, your smile will never fade and your light will continue to shine for eternity.”
Adam Cooper, a detective with the Nottinghamshire Police, described Mills’ choice not to stop and help Jack and destroying evidence was “absolutely unforgivable and has left his family distraught.”
Relatives were heartbroken over Jack’s death. His mother, Kirsty Archer, spoke in court about her son’s death, stating that their “lives have been thrown into the world we didn’t anticipate or prepare for, constantly agonizing and feeling enormous sadness day in day out.”
“He was coming home as it was the first day of the school holidays, we kept in touch via text as we did every day, and the last text was that he was on his way home. A neighbor knocked on the door and said that something serious had happened.”
“When I first saw the body lying on the road, surrounded by paramedics, I couldn’t believe what was going on, I was just thinking ‘That’s not Jack’—knowing my son was having CPR was just too surreal. Calling my children, Ben and Sophie, to tell them was the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a parent. He had no regard for my beloved son, no compassion, just the cruelest of human nature.”
“But they couldn’t let us beyond the cordon to see our son,” Kirsty continued. “This was horrific, to be told that he had died, but we couldn’t see him, and knowing he was alone, simply down to the driver’s actions. When we were able to see him, we were told that his brain had been removed, so they could work out the damage and the speed of the collision.”
A vigil was held for Jack just four days after he was killed in the hit-and-run crash. Friends, family, and members of the community came together at the Market Place at Bingham in Nottinghamshire.
County Council youth worker Dave Warren said the community was affected by Jack’s death. He said: “We went down to the crash site and what we noticed was there were a lot of parents and young people turning up and they were just devastated. It is the sort of tragic thing that actually affects everybody, especially if you have got your own kids.”
On March 23, Mills “pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and failing to stop after the collision.” A judge sentenced Mills to three years and four months in prison at the Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, June 2.
He was also prohibited from driving a vehicle for four years and six months.
[Featured Image by Nottinghamshire Police/Facebook]