TWO men have admitted having a number of weapons including an axe, machete and a shotgun ‘with intent to endanger life’ when stopped by police in a car in Worcester.

The pleas are related to an incident in Blackpole Road, Worcester, on March 10, 2020.

It was reported at the time a shot was fired, there was a crash and the road was closed as armed police attended the scene.

However, attempted murder charges against Gerard Doherty, 20, of Oxford Road, Ryton-on-Dunstone and Ciaran Irvine, 19, of fixed abode, were dropped.

The please came after a two day wait for the case to be called on, as their legal teams held conferences. At Worcester Crown Court yesterday Doherty admitted possessing a firearm, a loaded handgun, with intent to endanger life.

Doherty and Irvine both admitted possessing a firearm, a shotgun, with intent to endanger life, ammunition (74 shotgun cartridges) with intent to endanger life, having an offensive weapon, a machete, without reasonable excuse in a public place, having an offensive weapon, an axe, without reasonable excuse in a public place and having an offensive weapon, a knife, without reasonable excuse in a public place.


The previously reported counts of the attempted murder of two police officers, PC Simon Damm and PC James Rimmer, were not put to the defendants.

Thomas Kenning, prosecuting, explained: “The crown have had sufficient time to consider those pleas. I have spoken to everyone I need to and those pleas are acceptable.”

He said the crown had decided not to pursue some of the counts against the defendants.

“I make it plain for the record that the case of the prosecution has never changed and will not change,” Mr Kenning said.

“The weapons in the vehicle are what lead to the charges of possession with intent to endanger life.”

Mr Kenning said Kyle Ryley, 21, of no fixed address, had already pleaded guilty to the offences.

The prosecutor said: “Ryley will also have to be considered. His pleas with mirror the Doherty pleas.”

Judge James Burbridge QC asked for clarification that if Ryley made an application to vacate some of the pleas, whether the crown would accept that, to which he replied yes.

He added Ryley faces an additional count he has already pleaded guilty to, of possession of a lock knife that was found in a satchel on him.

The judge then said: “Does the crown know why these young men would have guns in a car?

“It was just the police stopping a car that was driving inappropriately. The wider public may well want to know. There was a car, two guns.”

The prosecutor said they would not present evidence on this, adding only those in the dock would know why they were driving that day with the weapons in the car.

The judge said: “There is no evidence of rival gangs?”

The prosecutor replied: “I will not be presenting evidence.”

Barlraj Bhatia, representing Doherty, added: “Because this is fact specific in terms of the quantity of weapons, with accompanying ammunition, that is sufficient in law to make out the intent to endanger life.

“Therefore, even on the facts as they are without any background information, allows those pleas to be put forward.”

The judge then asked Doherty, who wore a green top to court, and Irvine, who wore a blue sports jacket and who crossed his arms throughout the hearing, to stand.

“You have had the good sense to admit responsibility for the crimes the prosecution have levelled against you in a way they are content it meets justice of the case,” the judge said.

“You will have to wait (for sentencing).

“I need (pre-sentence) reports on you to see if you could be described as a ‘dangerous person’ - anyone with a gun is obviously dangerous, but it has a specific meaning (in law).”

The judge told the pair they will sentenced at the court, along with Ryley, on June 11.

He added he was grateful to legal counsel for their work during the week in preventing the public a potential two week trial.

Doherty was supported by a large gathering of family and friends at court, and only a limited number were allowed in to watch. After one of his guilty pleas there was a loud sigh from someone in the public gallery.

While the family waited in the court lobby over the three days, there had been a large police presence at the court throughout.