Hit-and-run victim was ‘loved by everyone’ say family as driver is jailed for killing pedestrian
Family will 'never forgive' killer who was jailed for 12 years
20 December, 2018 — By Samantha Booth
A GREAT-GRANDFATHER left for dead in a hit-and-run in Kentish Town has been remembered as someone who was “loved by everyone”, as the driver was jailed yesterday (Wednesday).
Former black cab driver Richard Docherty, 77, was left with devastating head injuries and later died after being hit by a stolen car in Leighton Road in August.
CCTV footage released this week shows the car, driven by 33-year-old Alistair McWilliams, swerving dangerously onto the wrong side of the road and overtaking traffic. He was driving at 60mph in a 20mph zone.
McWilliams, from Camden, went on the run from police but was jailed on Wednesday after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Sophie Docherty, 28, told the New Journal about her grandfather Mr Docherty: “He was outgoing and loved by everyone. He was a big part of our lives and we would see him every day.
“He was a black cab driver and was known by so many people. He loved his job, probably because he was meeting new people and being in a different place everyday.”
She added: “My children said to me, who is going to wave to us on the way to school now? My eight-year-old boy felt it was a personal attack and he was scared to go out at night.”
Mr Docherty, who lived in Southampton Road, died in hospital just over a week after the crash.
After hitting Mr Docherty and then colliding through a brick wall in front of a house, McWilliams was seen to get out of the stolen Nissan Primera with other occupants of the car, running away and leaving the victim behind.
Police launched an appeal to find McWilliams, 33. When arrested three weeks later, he told police that he had been “drunk out his nut”.
As well as being charged with dangerous driving, he was convicted at the Old Bailey of burgling magician Dynamo’s Hampstead home in May.
He stole high-value jewellery and a deck of cards in the £100,000 raid on the entertainer’s house.
McWilliams was jailed for 12 years and nine months and banned from driving for 12 years and five months on release. He had pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and causing death by dangerous driving, by driving while uninsured and by driving while unlicensed.
He also admitted failing to stop after a road traffic collision.
Mr Docherty had two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Ms Docherty said about McWilliams: “I think I can speak for all of my family when I say we will never forgive him for what he has done, never.”
Three teenage girls, aged 14, 16 and 17, were arrested a short time after the crash. They have been released under investigation.
Senior crown prosecutor Cath Carrie said: “The strong CCTV evidence presented by the prosecution clearly showed McWilliams driving erratically – speeding, swerving from side to side, overtaking a black cab driver and without any front or rear lights on.
“When he was arrested he told police officers that he had been ‘drunk out his nut’.
“McWilliams’ prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving ultimately led to a loss of life.
“I hope today’s sentence shows the devastating consequences dangerous driving can have on people’s lives and makes clear that the police and Crown Prosecution Service will work together to do whatever is possible to prosecute dangerous drivers where there is the evidence to do so.”
Detective Sergeant Ben Massink, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “The sudden and unexpected death of Mr Docherty was brought about by the dishonest, dangerous and shocking actions of a man who has now been sentenced to many years in prison.
“Although this outcome will not bring Mr Docherty back to his family, it will, I hope, help to bring comfort and closure for them.”