Gunman who murdered Elle Edwards with sub-machine gun outside Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve jailed for 48 years

7 July 2023, 15:16 | Updated: 7 July 2023, 16:05

The gunman who murdered Elle Edwards has been jailed
The gunman who murdered Elle Edwards has been jailed. Picture: Alamy/Merseyside Police

By Emma Soteriou

The gunman who murdered Elle Edwards with a sub-machine gun outside a Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve has been jailed for a minimum of 48 years.

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Connor Chapman, 23, was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court of the murder of Elle Edwards, who was hit twice in the back of the head when he fired 12 shots from a Skorpion sub-machine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village.

He was sentenced to at least 48 years by Mr Justice Goose on Friday.

Members of Elle Edwards' family could be heard shouting "goodbye lad", "scumbag" and "rat" as he was taken down from the dock.

Read more: Elle Edwards' final moments: Beautician seen smiling and hugging friends before Christmas Eve shooting
Read more:
Man guilty of murdering Elle Edwards outside Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve

Father of Elle Edwards speaks after sentencing of her killer

The shooting was the culmination of a feud between gangs on the Woodchurch estate, where Chapman lived, and the Beechwood, or Ford, estate on the opposite side of the M53 in Wirral, the trial previously heard.

The father-of-two claimed he was at home all night when the shooting happened and that he had given another man, whom he refused to name, the key to a stolen Mercedes parked in a car park near his home on Houghton Road.

But, the jury found it was Chapman who had driven the car to the busy pub and waited outside for almost three hours before launching the attack, which injured his targets, Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, and three other men who were unconnected to the feud.

CCTV shows moment of attack on pub which killed Elle Edwards

After the shooting he fled the scene in the car and drove to friend Thomas Waring's house, where CCTV showed Chapman, with distinctive long hair, appearing to drop the gun on the pavement as he walked towards the address.

A week later, on New Year's Eve, he and Waring, 20, drove to Frodsham, Cheshire, where they burned out the stolen Mercedes.

Waring was sentenced to nine years in prison for possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender on Friday.

As well as murder, Chapman was convicted of two counts of attempted murder, two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, as well as possession of a Skorpion submachine gun with intent to endanger life and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He pleaded guilty before the trial to a charge of handling stolen goods.

CCTV shows Elle Edwards in pub on night of murder

Ms Edwards family previously described her as "the most beautiful and bright star out there", saying she would "light up a room as soon as she walked in".

They added: "She had this way about her that as soon as you met her you just instantly fell in love with her, everyone that met Elle knew how special she was.

"Her laugh was infectious anyone who anyone who was around her had a good time, she loved her life and had so many amazing plans for the future."

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