NEWS: Son of millionaire facing 'severe' jail term for killing child actor and aunt while fleeing police
Son Of Millionaire Facing 'Severe' Jail Term For Killing Child Actor And Aunt While Fleeing Police
A millionaire’s son who mowed down and killed a child actor and his aunt while fleeing from police is facing a “severe” prison term today after admitting manslaughter.
Joshua Dobby, 23, crashed into 10-year-old Makayah McDermott and his aunt Rozanne Cooper, 35, as they walked to the park in Penge, south east London in August last year.
He lost control of the Ford Focus which had been stolen a week earlier, ploughing into the family in Lennard Road before striking a tree.
Makayah and Ms Cooper died from their injuries, while the boy’s twin sisters, Niyah and Yahla, 13, and cousin Eva, 8, were also injured in the crash.
At the Old Bailey this afternoon, Dobby admitted two counts of manslaughter, having already pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving over injuries to Yahla.
He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving over a police chase four days earlier, when he had careered through Kent roads while evading a police car in hot pursuit.
Dobby managed to avoid being captured during that pursued and stayed free for four more days until tragically killing Makayah and Ms Cooper.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Common Serjeant of London, warned him: “The defendant will be under no illusions that whatever form it take, he will have to serve a long sentence of imprisonment for such grave offences as these.”
Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC told the court Dobby was on licence from an 18-week prison sentence for handling stolen goods at the time of the crash, and has an April 2010 conviction for aggravated vehicle taking which ended in a crash.
At sentencing on March 10, Judge Hilliard will consider whether Dobby was on drugs at the time of the crash and assess if he should be given a life sentence under dangerousness guidelines.
Mr Orchard said there was a hint in a letter Dobby sent to his girlfriend that drugs were involved, but he said toxicology tests proved inconclusive.
“At the moment, the prosecution is unable to say whether the defendant was under the influence of drugs, only that he was using previously”, he said.
At sentencing, prosecutors will play footage from police dash cams as officers chased Dobby in both incidents, showing him speeding the wrong way along roads, swerving violently, and narrowly missing other pedestrians.
Following the deaths, relatives and friends paid tribute to Ms Cooper and Makayah, who had just earned his big break as a child actor in a production of the Wizard of Oz.
He, along with his sisters and cousin, were all talented actors and models, having appeared in magazine shoots, TV commercials, and on book covers.
Makayah himself had starred in an advert for Asda and was auditioning for the lead role in a TV series when he died.
It also emerged that Dobby is the estranged son of millionaire Mark Dobby, who lives in a £2.7m house in Kent and runs a pet food wholesale company as well as an investments company and a property lettings agency.
His barrister, Tyrone Smith QC, told the court: “The defendant has been advised to expect a severe sentence.”
Dobby, who is of no fixed address, wore a black t-shirt and a chain around his neck as he appeared in court via videolink from prison this afternoon to enter guilty pleas.