UK

Millionaire’s Son Faces Jail For Killing Child Actor And Aunt In Police Chase Crash

Joshua Dobby has been told to expect a 'severe' sentence.

02/02/2017 16:10 GMT | Updated 02/02/2017 16:24 GMT

A millionaire’s son who killed a 10-year-old child actor and his aunt when he ploughed into them in a stolen car during a police chase admitted manslaughter on Thursday.

Joshua Dobby, 23, killed talented Makayah McDermott and his aunt Rozanne Cooper, 35, after losing control of the stolen Ford Focus. 

Dobby, the estranged son of 51-year-old company director Mark Dobby, may have taken drugs before the fatal crash last August, the Old Bailey heard. 

SWNS
Joshua Dobby was told to expect a severe sentence 

The black Ford Focus Dobby was driving was being chased by police cars through the streets of south east London when he crashed into five members of the same family in Penge. 

Cooper had been walking down Lennard Road with Makayah and his older twin sisters Niyah and Yahla, 13, and Cooper’s daughter Eva when the car ploughed into them. 

Cooper and Makayah died at the scene, while Yahla suffered series injuries and spent days in hospital. 

Budding actor Makayah had recently been signed up by a talent agency Brown and Mills Entertainment and had auditioned for a TV series. 

10-year-old Makayah McDermott died in the crash

Dobby had previously admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, as well as causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Makayah’s sister Yahla. 

He appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday by videolink from maximum security Belmarsh jail to plead guilty to the manslaughter of Makayah and his aunt. 

Dobby also admitted one count of dangerous driving, which involved him driving a Ford Focus dangerously on the A228 in Kent on August 26 - five days before the death crash. 

Wearing a long sleeved black t-shirt and silver chain around his neck, he spoke only to confirm his name and enter his pleas. 

Facebook
Rozanne Cooper, Makayah McDermott’s aunt, also died

Members of the victims’ family were in court as the pleas were entered. 

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of London, warned Dobby custody was inevitable. 

He said: “The defendant will be under no illusion whatever form it takes, he will have to serve a long term in prison for such grave offences as these. 

“It is plain to me already the driving on August 31st was dangerous over a period of time. 

“There is the incident on the 26th of August - that was also very dangerous. 

“As I understand it he was on licence at the time of these offences. 

“On the face of it he had a serious drug problem. All those matters will need to be considered.” 

The court heard it had not been possible to determine whether he was under the influence of drugs at the time. 

Anthony Orchard QC, prosecuting, said: “I have had this investigated. You cannot basically back date on drugs.” 

The judge said: “It is obviously an important aspect of the case. If it is not the subject of agreement, the defendant may of course have the opportunity to give evidence about that particular aspect.” 

Tyrone Smith QC, defending, said: “I can only indicate the defendant has been advised to expect a severe sentence.” 

Sentencing was adjourned until March 10 for reports to be carried out. 

Dobby, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody. 

In June last year he was jailed for 18 weeks for receiving stolen goods, breach of a conditional discharge and failure to surrender. 

And in April 2010, when he was 16, he was convicted of aggravated vehicle taking, for which he received a rehab order. 

At an earlier hearing, Dobby apologised for the “utterly incomprehensible pain” he had caused. 

Robin Ghosh, defending, said: “Mr Dobby wanted it to be noted that he fully acknowledges the utterly incomprehensible pain and suffering caused to the families involved.” 

His millionaire father lives in a five-bedroom detached house in a gated estate in Keston, south east London, worth an estimated £2.7million. 

He previously had on his driveway a 2015 red BMW X8 with registration “F9DOB”, a Peugeot with registration “TRO7DOB” and a 2008 blue Mazda with registration “F6DOB”. 

He is the director of four companies - Dobbyman Welling Ltd, Dobbyman Properties Ltd, Dobbyman Investments Ltd, and Dobbyman Ltd, which is believed to be a pet food business. 

His house sits in the gated Keston Park estate, that has its private roads lined with CCTV cameras, and had three cars with personalised number plates in its driveway. 

He previously refused to talk about his killer son and said he had not seen him in 16 years. 

Asked about Dobby’s court case, he said: “I haven’t got anything to say. I haven’t seen him for 16 years so I haven’t got anything to say about it. 

“If you could go away please.” 

The house is worth £2,711,000, according to property website Zoopla. 

Dobbyman Welling Ltd had assets of £1.2 million in January 2015 and Dobbyman Investments Ltd had assets of nearly half-a-million pounds in February that year. 

Companycheck says his businesses have a net worth of £1.2million with total assets of £1.8million. 

He is registered as living with Jeanette Dobby, who is listed as company secretary on his businesses.