‘AUDACIOUS’ criminals who fired a shotgun at a police car during a dangerous chase have been jailed for a total of 33 years.
Gerard Doherty, 21, of Oxford Road in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Ciaran Irvine, 20, of no fixed abode in Warwickshire, and Kyle Ryley, 23, of no fixed address, previously pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court.
In March 2020, the pursuit began when the trio were travelling through Worcester in a Volvo and failed to stop when officers became concerned about the manner in which the car was being driven.
The driver pulled over before reversing into the unmarked police car and driving off again, reaching speeds of 125mph on the A449.
Officers were preparing to deploy a stinger device to stop the vehicle when the occupants of the car opened the driver’s window and shot at the police vehicle.
The Volvo drove over a central reservation into oncoming traffic, pursued by a second police vehicle.
One of the wheels of the Volvo broke off when it clipped the kerb, causing it to collide with a member of the public’s vehicle before coming to a stop.
The three defendants were chased on foot by officers and arrested after they attempted to discard evidence.
Doherty was sentenced to 14 years for two charges of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life, and three charges of possession of an offensive weapon.
Irvine pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life, and three charges of possession of an offensive weapon. He was sentenced to eight years and nine months.
Ryley pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of a firearm with intent to danger life, possession of ammunition with intent to danger life, four charges of possession of an offensive weapon, and dangerous and disqualified driving. He was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months.
Det Insp Lee Holehouse from West Mercia Police’s Major Incident Unit said: “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.
“However, I want to reassure the public that incidents involving firearms in West Mercia are extremely rare.
“If you have information regarding anyone who you suspect to be in possession of illegal weapons or firearms, which could help prevent a crime or save a life, then you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call. Alternatively, you can also pass on information anonymously by visiting Fearless.org.”
See above to watch footage of the police chase.