A TRAVELLER has been jailed after he caused the death of a close friend from Elton – and seriously injured four others – in an early-morning horror crash.
David Michael Doherty, son of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings star Paddy Doherty, has been locked up for three years and 10 months and also banned from driving for four years after Mold Crown Court heard he ‘wickedly’ fled the scene.
Victim father-of-four James Loveridge, 38, of Elton, a front seat passenger in his own Mitsubishi Shogun being driven by Doherty, was declared dead at the scene.
Three others in the back seat – Thomas Ward, Paul Hulse and Mark Evans – were seriously hurt.
Doherty crashed into a Renault van parked in a lay-by off the A55 which left Victor McClelland, who was asleep in the back, with life-changing injuries.
A witness heard Doherty say: “I was asleep and woke up to this.”
Attempts were made to detain him but Doherty ran off, stole a Land Rover Discovery, and drove back to his family home at the Riverside Traveller’s Park in Queensferry.
When later arrested he denied being behind the wheel – but changed his plea when his DNA was found in his blood and saliva on the air bag of the crashed Shogun and also in the stolen Land Rover.
Doherty admitted causing death by careless driving at 4am on the Westbound carriageway of the A55 at Talybont, Gwynedd, on March 18. He also admitted driving while disqualified, without insurance, failing to stop and failing to report the accident.
He went on to admit driving the Land Rover without consent and without insurance together with a separate incident of dangerous driving in Manchester in May of last year, together with other motoring offences.
Judge Niclas Parry said as a result of Doherty’s irresponsible driving, a young man was killed, an entirely innocent man suffered life-threatening injuries, and three of his other passengers were seriously hurt.
He had been in a pub the previous evening in Chester.
“What followed can only be described as an act of sheer wickedness,” he said. “Knowing what you had done, knowing you passenger was dead or dying, you left without any regard for anyone else.”
Christopher Harding, defending, said his client was full of remorse.