Getaway driver ‘un­fit’ to be jailed after crash left him brain dam­aged

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Mike Lock­ley Staff Re­porter

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

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