Driver admits manslaughter after killing two during police chase


A driver who killed a child and his aunt during a high speed police chase has admitted two counts of manslaughter at the Old Bailey.

The Crown Prosecution Service had earlier declined to accept pleas to death by dangerous driving in respect of the crash. He also pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving related to an earlier incident and will be sentenced on 10 March.

Makayah McDermott, 10, and his aunt Rozanne Cooper, 34, were killed by an out-of-control stolen Ford Focus driven by Joshua Dobby, 23, (dob 05/06/1993) in Penge, south east London, on 31 August 2016. Two other children were also injured, one seriously.

Five days before the fatal crash police had called off a pursuit of Dobby in the same stolen car for safety reasons as he was driving recklessly.

Malcolm McHaffie, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "The actions of Joshua Dobby as he tried to evade police had shocking and tragic consequences.

"He drove a stolen car at three times the speed limit, down one way roads and through red lights. When he lost control, he jumped out of the car and ran away, leaving officers to try and save Makayah McDermott and Rozanne Cooper, who lost their lives. Two other children were injured, one seriously.

"Our case was that he wilfully put the lives of others at risk through his actions that day. We were not prepared to accept a plea to lesser charges but built a strong case which has left Joshua Dobby with no alternative other than to plead guilty to manslaughter.

"We hope that this conviction today provides some small amount of comfort to the family of Makayah and Rozanne."