Former Chester City FC captain Stephen Vaughan Junior faces jail after admitting helping a policeman’s killer.
The ex-Blues player provided Timmy Donovan with his Mercedes, which Donovan used to escape to Germany in the hours after PC Neil Doyle was killed in Liverpool city centre in December 2014.
The 31-year-old, now a boxing promoter, appeared in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court today (Monday, February 29), ahead of a trial on allegations of assisting an offender and two counts of perverting the course of justice.
But Vaughan, of Tower Way, Woolton, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice on December 19, 2014, by permitting Donovan to use his vehicle.
He accepted he did this knowing Donovan had been involved in an incident that led to the death of PC Doyle, “in order that Donovan might thereby evade apprehension or prosecution by police”.
Vaughan, with short black hair and wearing a grey suit, blue shirt and tie in court, spoke only to enter his guilty plea.
'A serious matter'
Judge Steven Everett adjourned sentencing until March 31 for reports to be obtained, and told him: “You shouldn’t be under any illusions about this. This is a serious matter.
“The fact I have given you bail and am adjourning for a pre-sentence report shouldn’t make you think custody is not under consideration. Custody is well and truly at the top of the menu.
“I suggest what you do is if you have any matters to put in order, you do so before the 31st of March.”
Henry Riding, prosecuting, said that a charge of assisting an offender would be marked “pleaded to the alternative” and a further count of perverting the course of justice would be ordered to lie on the file.
Licenced boxing promoter Vaughan – who was once on the books at Liverpool FC and is a former president of Maltese club Floriana FC – is the son of Liverpool businessman and former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan snr.
PC Doyle, 36, was killed during a confrontation with football agent Andrew Taylor, 29, and sports event manager Donovan, 30, on a Christmas night out in Liverpool.
The off-duty policeman died after he was struck in Colquitt Street in the early hours of Friday, December 19.
Taylor, of Cherry Tree Road, Huyton, was jailed for seven years and six months, and Donovan, of Walsingham Road, Childwall, was jailed for six years and 10 months, after they were found guilty of manslaughter.
Both were also found guilty of the wounding with intent of the newlywed officer’s colleague, PC Robert Marshall, and Taylor was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to PC Michael Steventon.
PC Doyle died from an injury to a neck artery. Neither defendant admitted landing the fatal blow and they were convicted under the ‘joint enterprise’ law.
Vaughan's time as a Blue
Vaughan played for the Blues when the club was known as Chester City, before their rebirth as Chester FC . He had two spells with the club, from 2004-2007 and from 2008-2010, and played more than 50 league games, many as captain.
Vaughan's father, also named Stephen, was the owner and chairman of the Blues for much of the time his son was playing for them.