Getaway driver ‘unfit’ to be jailed after crash left him brain damaged
AGETAWAY driver suffered severe brain damage after his vehicle struck a tree, killing one of his accomplices.
But because of his injuries, it was decided that Neil Docherty was unfit to take part in his own trial on charges of robbery and causing death by dangerous driving.
The jury at Warwick Crown Court found the 41-year-old from Radford, Coventry, “did the acts alleged” and the case was adjourned for further reports to be prepared on him.
Because of his mental condition, Docherty, who Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said would otherwise be facing a sentence “in excess of ten years”, cannot be jailed. He can only be dealt with in one of three ways – a hospital order under the Mental Health Act, a supervision order or an absolute discharge.
Because reports on Docherty indicate he does not have a treatable condition, a hospital order is not an option.
Judge Lockhart said: “What I have been told is that the probation service would be able to do virtually nothing with a man with a neurological condition which is virtually untreatable.
“The local authority would carry out an assessment, but could only do that if I made an order today.”
He told Docherty’s barrister Andrew Horsell: “You will know my concerns about this case. The maximum I can deal with it by at the moment is a two-year supervision order, and I have voiced my concerns about that. “Before I make an order, I want to know what can be done for him to be further monitored so this man, who I consider to be dangerous if he’s well, is at least monitored in the community by someone. “I order the Social Services department to carry out an assessment to see if they can assist with supervision over the twoyear period and thereafter.” He adjourned the case for that to be done and Docherty was granted bail. Last year’s trial was told the case involved an armed robbery at the One Stop store in Birmingham Road, Allesley Village, on December 4, 2013.
“At 8.20pm in the evening three men entered the premises, with at least one carrying a crowbar, and stole cash and a quantity of cigarettes,” said prosecutor Ben Close.
“Thereafter, the getaway vehicle, a Peugeot 307, was observed by a number of other people relatively close to where the robbery took place before crashing into a tree.
“Tragically, that crash killed one of the occupants, the frontseat passenger David Molloy, and the prosecution say Mr Docherty was the person who was driving, and that the crash was caused by him driving in a dangerous way.”
> Neil Docherty