5:23pm Tuesday 29th January 2013
By Dominic Yeatman
A cab driver who lied for 17 years about the disappearance of his former girlfriend has been convicted of her killing.
Kevin Doherty, 57, of Cherry Tree Rise in Buckhurst Hill, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Tuesday for the manslaughter of 32-year-old Jane Harrison.
The Old Bailey heard that the young mother-of-two was never seen again after a shopping trip with Doherty in 1995, and that her body has still not been found.
Doherty was arrested shortly after her disappearance but released through lack of evidence, and it was only when the case was revisited by Metropolitan Police’s murder review group in 2010, that anomalies in his testimony were discovered.
Mobile phone analysis found that Doherty was not where he had claimed to be, and that he had not spoken to Jane, as he had claimed, after she was last seen.
Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Dermot Carroll, said: "At last Jane's family have got the justice they have sought for 17 years.
"They never gave up and it is sad and unfortunate that Jane's mother Phylis passed away before she saw this day.
"Doherty has kept his lie for almost two decades. He has persistently lied to police, Jane's family and to his own family and friends."
The pair met in what was then Charlie Chan’s nightclub in Walthamstow in 1992, and they subsequently had a child together after beginning a relationship.
But Doherty already had a wife and child, and the court heard that his relationship with Miss Harrison quickly became violent.
The last confirmed sighting of her was in the Wood Green Shopping City precinct, where she was seen with Doherty.
The day before Doherty had booked a last-minute holiday to Florida for himself, Miss Harrison and her sons, and claimed to have dropped her off close to her mother's address in Highbury after the shopping trip.
A £10,000 reward was offered by police for information on her whereabouts, but no witnesses came forward.
Speaking after the sentencing, Det Insp Carroll said: "This case proves that the Met never dismisses unsolved investigations.
"I only hope now he has the decency to tell us what happened to Jane."
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