PROSECUTORS are appealing against the "unduly lenient" sentence handed to a Hampshire dad who tried to kill his three children and a stepdaughter.

Drug addict Owen Scott admitted four counts of attempted murder and one of dangerous driving after attacking the youngsters with a hammer before deliberately crashing his car into a pub at more than 90mph.

One of the children suffered severe head injuries and is facing life in a wheelchair.

Scott, 29, of Heather Road in Blackfield, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court in February and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 13 years and 188 days.

But the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, will go to the Court of Appeal next week and call for a longer tariff to be imposed.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said: "The Solicitor General will argue that his (Scott's) minimum term is unduly lenient.

"Possibly due to a cocaine and cannabis-induced psychotic episode, Scott attacked the children with a hammer, striking their heads multiple times.

"He then deliberately drove his car at more than 90mph into the stone wall of a pub.

"All four children were left with devastating injuries and medical reports have suggested there may be lasting psychological damage and cognitive impairment.

"Two of the children require ongoing medical attention and one will be wheelchair dependent for life."

Scott, who claims to have no memory of the incident, was arrested after his car crashed into the Travellers Inn near Huddersfield in South Yorkshire last August.

The judge, Mrs Justice O'Farrell, heard how Scott had been a loving father to his children, aged seven, 21 months and nine months, and his eight-year-old stepdaughter, even after the breakdown of his relationship with his former partner.

But in the weeks before the incident he developed paranoia, put down to a temporary psychosis caused by his long-term recreational cocaine and cannabis use.

Michelle Colborne QC, defending, said doctors believed he was suffering a temporary psychotic episode caused by his drug use.

Scott was convinced a Southampton-based gang was after him and his children and he tried to kill the children to save them from a worse fate, she said.

The judge told him: "You, their father, on whom they were entitled to rely for love, affection and comfort and, in particular, on whom they did rely to keep them safe, inflicted shocking injuries that will have long-term limiting implications.

"You will have to live for the rest of your life knowing that you have damaged, in some cases irrecoverably, the health of your children."