Man denies murder of Ashley Dale, 28, after she was shot dead at home

2 October 2023, 21:22 | Updated: 5 October 2023, 16:27

A man has denied the murder of council worker Ashley Dale who was shot dead at her home.
A man has denied the murder of council worker Ashley Dale who was shot dead at her home. Picture: Alamy

By Yasmeen ElTahan

A man has denied the murder of council worker Ashley Dale who was shot dead at her home.

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Ian Fitzgibbon, 28, entered a not guilty plea for his charge of the murder of Ashley Dale at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

Ms Dale, an environmental health worker, was found with a gunshot wound in the back garden of her home in Old Swan, Liverpool on August 21 last year.

Fitzgibbon, from St Helens, Merseyside, is one of five men about to go on trial accused of the murder of Ms Dale.

James Witham, 41, of Ashbury Road, Huyton, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ms Dale but denies murder.

Sean Zeisz, 27, of Huyton, Niall Barry, 26, of Tuebrook, and Joseph Peers, aged 29 of Roby, all Merseyside, are also in the dock and deny Ms Dale's murder.

All of the five men also deny the charge of conspiracy to murder Lee Harrison and conspiracy to possess a prohibited weapon, a Skorpion sub-machine gun, and ammunition.

Read more: Two more men charged with murder over death of council worker Ashley Dale

Read more: CCTV appeal launched after murder of 'shining light' council worker Ashley Dale in Liverpool

A sixth defendant, Kallum Radford, 25, of no fixed address, denies assisting an offender.

On Monday a prospective jury panel of 18 potential jurors was selected by random ballot, with 12 to be sworn as jurors later for when the trial begins.

Trial judge Mr Justice Goose told Liverpool Crown Court the trial is expected to last around six weeks.

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday morning.

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