Elle Edward's killer sentenced to a minimum of 48 years for Christmas Eve murder
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Connor Chapman, the gunman who killed 26-year-old beautician Elle Edwards when he opened fire outside a pub on Christmas Eve has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 48 years.
The 23-year-old gunman was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court of the murder of Elle Edwards.
She was hit twice in the back of the head when he fired 12 shots from a Skorpion submachine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside, shortly before midnight on 24 December last year.
He was sentenced by Mr Justice Goose on Friday after a trial where the jury heard that Chapman had tried to cover his tracks with a Facebook post attempting to deflect attention away from himself.
The trial heard 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 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.
However, 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.
After the shooting, Chapman was seen on CCTV visiting the house of Thomas Waring, a friend, and appearing to drop the gun.
On New Year's Eve, a week after the fatal shooting Chapman and Waring took took the stolen Mercedes to Frodsham, Cheshire and burnt it.
In addition to the murder of Elle Edwards, Chapman was also 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.
Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds said: "Connor Chapman knew exactly what he was doing when he left his home address on December 24, getting in a stolen car in possession of a Skorpion machine pistol.
"He drove to the Lighthouse pub where he spent a number of hours there before finding a car parking space that gave him a real clear view of who was outside."
"He then left his car with no regard for anybody else, intent on firing that gun at his intended targets, Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, with not a care of what would happen to anybody else who was stood outside of the pub."
Elle's father Tim called Chapman a 'coward' as he was taken from the dock following the reading out of a guilty verdict.
He had described his daughter as a 'a fantastic human being with a heart of gold', saying she was a 'beautiful and caring' person.