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Two men jailed following two fatal collisions in Rochdale

|News, Driving offences

Alan McDonagh, 19, has been jailed for nine years and Patrick Doran, 32, has been jailed five years for driving offences which resulted in the death of two men in Rochdale in January and March this year.

On 4 January 2022 Alan McDonagh stole the keys for a brown Skoda Superb belonging to a member of staff from James Nuttall Transport in Rochdale and drove away from the yard in the car.

The following day the car, now displaying false number plates, was involved in a fatal road traffic accident in Rochdale. Whilst being driven at speed, on the wrong side of the road the Skoda collided with 50-year-old Jason Goostrey as he crossed Milnrow Road. Mr Goostrey died in hospital a few days later from a fatal neck injury. 

Police recovered the Skoda at the junction of Percy Street with Sandfield Road, Rochdale two days later. Doran's DNA was found in the car, showing he had driven the car at some point, but It was not proven who was driving the vehicle at the time of the collision.

Whilst on bail for aggravated vehicle taking, Alan McDonagh caused the death of a second man whilst dangerous driving.

On 20 March 2022 Alan McDonagh was driving a blue BMW 318d in Rochdale owned by his friend 27-year-old Simbarashe Prosper Mhepo (known to his family as Prosper), with Mr Mhepo as his passenger. 

Police officers on patrol saw the BMW 318d increase speed and begin to make off from them. Following a short pursuit, involving speeds in excess of 100 mph, as McDonagh overtook a black BMW 118d on the wrong side of Rochdale Road East, at the junction with Bradshaw Street, he collided with a pedestrian island and a traffic pole and began to spin. He then struck the front of the BMW 118d he had just overtaken before hitting the front of a shop.  

McDonagh and Mr Mhepo were both ejected from the vehicle. They were taken to Salford Royal Hospital. McDonagh was treated for a head injury. Mr Mhepo suffered a catastrophic brain injury and died later that day.

Mr Mhepo's father in his Victim Impact Statement said: “You had the opportunity to stop when the police requested you to but chose to drive in such a dangerous manner taking our only son from us. Prosper thought you were friends. He trusted you, and you brought evil into his life. Prosper meant the world to us and even in his absence, his spirit lives with us.”

Today (29 Sept 2022) Alan McDonagh was jailed for a total of nine years - three years for aggravated vehicle taking, consecutive to six years for causing death by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment concurrent for all other counts. He was disqualified from driving for seven years and six months. Patrick Doran was jailed for five years for aggravated vehicle taking. He was disqualified from driving for five years and six months.

Darren Smith for the CPS said: "This is a truly tragic case, involving two men losing their lives through no fault of their own.

"Being on bail for an incident involving the death of one man did not make McDonagh stop and think; he drove in an extremely dangerous manner resulting in further tragic consequences, this time involving his friend. 

"As both men begin their prison sentences for these offences, I am aware that they can never reflect the devastating impact on the family and friends of Jason Goostrey and Simbarashe Prosper Mhepo. My thoughts are with them at this time."

Notes to editors

  • Darren Smith is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West.
  • Individual charges:
    • Alan McDonagh pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking (he took a Skoda Superb without the consent of the owner and before the vehicle was recovered, owing to the driving of the vehicle, the death of Jason Goosetrey was caused) in January 2022.
    • Alan McDonagh pleaded guilty to causing the death of Simbarashe Prosper Mhepo by dangerous driving of, causing death by driving whilst disqualified, cause death by driving whilst uninsured, cause death by driving whilst unlicenced in March 2022.
    • Patrick Doran was found guilty following a trial of aggravated vehicle taking (he drove or allowed himself to be carried in that vehicle and owing to the driving of the vehicle the death of Jason Goosetrey was caused) in January 2022.

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