Ryton-on-Dunsmore man who fired a shotgun at police cries as he is jailed for 14 years

He then fled on foot and tried to throw bullets down the toilet in a McDonald's

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 1:58 pm

A gunman who shot at a police car during a high-speed 125mph chase captured on camera wept in the dock as he was jailed for 14 years.

Gerard Doherty, 21, fired a pistol at an unmarked police vehicle during the dramatic pursuit through Worcester on March 10 last year.

A court heard he had been travelling in a Volvo with pals Ciaran Irvine, 20, and Kyle Ryley, 23, when officers spotted their car speeding at 80mph.

Occupants of the vehicle lower the driver's window and fire a shotgun at police.
Occupants of the vehicle lower the driver's window and fire a shotgun at police.

Driver Ryley failed to stop before leading officers on a dangerous chase while hitting speeds of between 100mph and 125mph on the A449.

At one point the car pulled over before reversing into the police vehicle - before driving off again at high speed.

Officers were preparing to deploy a stinger when front seat passenger Doherty aimed a gun across the front of the driver and fired through the open car window.

The Volvo then made its way across a central reservation driving into oncoming traffic pursued by a second police vehicle.

Gerard Doherty.

One of the wheels on the Volvo broke off when it clipped the kerb, causing it to collide with an off-duty police officer's vehicle before coming to a stop.

The three defendants were chased on foot by officers and arrested after Doherty tried to dispose of bullets down the toilet in a nearby McDonald's.

The brave off-duty cop also helped detain one of the thugs after his car, containing his partner and 16-month-old child, was crashed into.

Weapons including a rifle, a shotgun, a machete, an axe and two knives were seized from the vehicle.

Ciaran Irvine.

Irvine and Ryley, both of no fixed abode, and Doherty, of Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warks., have now been jailed for a total of 33 years.

Doherty was jailed for 14 years after admitting possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life and three charges of possession of an offensive weapon.

He wept and put his head in his hands as he learned his fate at Worcester Crown Court on Friday (11/6).

Ryley was caged for ten years and six months after he admitted the same charges and also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and possession of a lock knife.

Kyle Ryley.

Irvine was jailed for eight years and nine months for possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life and having three offensive weapons, a machete, an axe and a knife.

Sentencing, Judge James Burbidge QC said: "Gun crime is some of the most serious crime and people's wish to resort to it is disquieting."

Prosecutor Tom Kenning told the court how shots were fired at the unmarked black Skoda as the trio headed for the M5 motorway.

He said: "As the Volvo and the Skoda approached the roundabout PS Baker heard a loud 'crack' sound, which he believed to be the discharge of a high velocity gun.

"Footage from the in-car camera of the Skoda will show the driver's window of the Volvo was lowered as the vehicle approached the roundabout.

"It is at this point the prosecution say the gun was fired at the police Skoda containing PC Rimmer and PC Damm."

The Volvo continued through a red light, round a roundabout and back along the A449, driving at one stage on the wrong side of the road and narrowly missing a fuel tanker.

Mr Kenning added: "As it approached the junction of Cotswold Way and Cosgrove Close the Volvo again went on the wrong side of the road, struck a central reservation, broke off a rear wheel, and collided with a silver VV Passat being driven by a retired gentleman John Zorn, and a white VW Tiguan containing Nyla Akthar, her fiancee Kevin Wyatt and their 16 month old son."

After his arrest Ryley was heard to say: "Listen mate, I'm from Hinkley, I've been down to Bristol and I'm going to get shot by travellers."

Irvine was chased and caught by off-duty officer Kevin Wyatt.

Mr Kenning added: "A hole in the rear nearside of the Skoda was then discovered by the police officers.

"The prosecution say this was caused by the shot fired through the driver's side window of the Volvo on the approach to the Sixways roundabout."

The search continued for Doherty who had stolen a mobile phone power pack charger before he entered McDonald's on Blackpole retail park.

A customer found two bullets in the bowl of the disabled toilet. Staff and police were alerted. Doherty was arrested nearby, claiming he was there to pick up his girlfriend.

The Volvo contained weapons including a .22 calibre converted rimrifle firearm/pistol in the central console.

A double barrelled shotgun was also found in the rear footwell. Cartridges and ammunition were also found as well as a machete in its sheath.

A wooden axe was found in the front passenger seat footwell. A knife, sheathed, was also found in the rear seat footwell.

Detective Inspector Lee Holehouse, of West Mercia Police, said afterwards: “The offenders shot at the police car clearly intending to cause harm and drove in a dangerous and incredibly reckless manner.

"This incident happened during the day when members of the public were going about their daily activities.

"Fortunately no one was injured but this could have had a very different outcome.

“When we searched the Volvo we also found two firearms, three further offensive weapons including a machete and 74 shotgun cartridges.

“The offender’s actions were audacious, shocking and extremely dangerous and I welcome the sentence given by the court today.

“However, I want to reassure the public that incidents involving firearms in West Mercia are extremely rare."