Man jailed for killing pensioner with stolen car in Kentish Town

|News, Driving offences

A man who stole a car just days before taking his friends out on the town and fatally crashing into a pedestrian has been jailed for a total of 12 years and nine months.

Alistair McWilliams, 33, was driving dangerously and at speeds of up to 60mph on a 20mph road through north London when he crashed into Richard Docherty in Kentish Town in the early hours of Thursday, 23 August this year.

The Nissan Primera McWilliams had stolen lost control and mounted the pavement before going through a brick wall in front of a house in Leighton Road where the collision occurred. McWilliams was then seen to get out of the vehicle along with the other occupants of the car and run away, leaving the victim behind.

Today (Wednesday, 19 December) he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 12 years and nine months' imprisonment. McWilliams was also disqualified from driving for 12 years and five months upon release. He had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving whilst uninsured, causing death by driving whilst unlicensed and failing to stop after a road traffic collision.

The victim, who was in his 70s, died in hospital from head injuries just over a week later. McWilliams was found and arrested by police on 13 September.

Cath Carrie, from the CPS, said: "McWilliams stole a car three days before dangerously joyriding through the streets of north London.

"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 this 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 CPS will work together to prosecute dangerous drivers where there is sufficient evidence to do so. Our thoughts are with the family of Richard Docherty at this time."

Notes to editors

  • Alistair McWilliams (DOB: 17.11.1985) is from Camden.
  • He was also sentenced today for one count of burglary relating to a separate trial
  • Cath Carrie is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the homicide unit in CPS London North.

Further reading