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‘Ongoing feud’ between rival groups led to shooting of beautician on Christmas Eve, court hears

todayAugust 12, 2023 3

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‘Ongoing feud’ between rival groups led to shooting of beautician on Christmas Eve, court hears

An “ongoing feud” between rival groups led to the shooting of a “wholly innocent” woman outside a pub on Christmas Eve, a court has heard.

Elle Edwards, 26, was killed in the sub-machine gun shooting outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside, on 24 December last year.

Connor Chapman, 23, is on trial accused of her murder.

Opening the trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Nigel Power KC said Ms Edwards went out for a cigarette at 11.47pm on an “enjoyable night out”.

Footage played to the court showed a man walk round the corner from the car park of the pub and open fire, injuring five people and killing Ms Edwards.

He was using a Skorpion sub-machine gun, a Czech firearm designed for the security services and the army, the court heard.

The father of Elle Edwards, Tim Edwards, arrives with family members at the Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts in Liverpool

Image:
Elle Edwards’ family arrive at court in Liverpool

Mr Power said the intended targets of the shooting were Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld.

He told the jury the shooting followed a “history of trouble” between rival groups from the Woodchurch and Ford estates, on either side of the M53 in Wirral.

“Although they were injured, Elle Edwards, a wholly innocent bystander, was killed by two bullets which entered the back of the left side of her head,” Mr Power said.

A burglary, injunctions and two shootings in December were outlined as a series of events in the “ongoing feud”.

The father of Elle Edwards, Tim Edwards, (centre) arrives with family members at the Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts in Liverpool where Connor Chapman is charged with her murder, two counts of attempted murder, three counts of wounding with intent, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life and handling stolen goods. Picture date: Tuesday June 13, 2023.

The court heard that the day before the shooting, on 23 December, Mr Duffy and Mr Salkeld, from the Ford estate, assaulted Sam Searson, from the Woodchurch estate.

“What we say it shows is that what otherwise might have been viewed as a random or inexplicable shooting of a wholly innocent woman, Elle Edwards, was in fact the culmination of an ongoing feud,” Mr Power said.

Read more:
Man accused of murdering beautician on Christmas Eve pleads not guilty
Father of woman who was shot dead last year joins march against violence in Liverpool

The jury was told that after the shooting, Chapman drove a stolen Mercedes to the home of his friend and co-defendant 20-year-old Thomas Waring in Barnston, Wirral.

A man, alleged to be Chapman, was seen walking towards Waring’s house in CCTV footage shown to the court.

“What we suggest is, as the man, who is in the stolen car that had been in the car park, from which the shooting had taken place, as he ruffles his hair he dislodges the gun that had just carried out the murder, which drops to the floor and then he picks it up,” Mr Power said.

A dozen members of Ms Edwards’ family were in court on Tuesday. Since her death, Ms Edwards’ father Tim Edwards has publicly supported anti-violence charity Weapons Down Gloves Up.

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Father of Elle Edwards joins anti-violence march

Chapman denies the murder of Ms Edwards, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He also denies possession of a sub-machine gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Waring, of Private Drive, Barnston, Wirral, denies possessing a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender by helping Chapman to dispose of the car.

Written by: Newsroom

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