A man has been found guilty of the murder of a beautician who was killed when she opened fire with a submachine gun outside a pub on Christmas Eve.
Elle Edwards, 26, was shot when Connor Chapman, 23, fired 12 shots from the Skorpion pistol at a group of people outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside, shortly before midnight on December 24 from last year.
Chapman was convicted of her murder and seven other charges, after a three and a half week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Ms Edwards’ father, Tim, said the conviction meant the family could start moving forward.
He said: “It just means he’s off the streets, someone else isn’t going to suffer at his hands.
“Unfortunately, Elle was his last victim, but hopefully she will be the last person he does anything to and he can disappear.”
The trial heard that the attack was the culmination of a dispute between groups on the Woodchurch and Beechwood properties, straddling the M53 on the Wirral.
The prosecution alleged that Chapman was attempting to kill Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, who were seriously injured in the shooting.
The couple, from the Beechwood estate, had attacked another man, Sam Searson, in the street the previous day, the court heard.
Three other men: Harry Loughran, Liam Carr and Nicholas Speed; who were not related to the dispute, were also injured in the shooting.
The jury heard that Chapman waited outside the pub in a stolen Mercedes for nearly three hours before firing the gun, which the court found capable of firing 15 rounds per second.
Chapman told jurors that he had not been using the vehicle, which he described as a “carpool” for himself and other criminals, on the night of the murder, but had given the car key to another man, whom he refused to identify. .
CCTV footage showed the gunman driving away from the Lighthouse moments after the shooting and then arriving on Private Drive in Barnston, the address of co-defendant Thomas Waring’s home.
In the footage, the man, with long hair, was seen appearing to drop the gun as he walked toward Waring’s home.
Chapman admitted to a charge of handling stolen property before trial began, telling jury on December 31 that he had traveled with the unidentified man who took the car key when the Mercedes caught fire in Frodsham, Cheshire.
He denied Waring had been with him, although cell site evidence showed Waring’s phone traveled with the car.
The senior investigating officer on the case, Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds, described Chapman as a “dangerous and ruthless individual”.
He said: “Connor Chapman knew exactly what he was doing when he left his home address on December 24 and got into a stolen car in possession of a Skorpion automatic pistol.
“He drove to the Lighthouse pub, where he spent several hours there before finding a parking space that allowed him to clearly see who was outside.
“He then left his car with no regard for anyone else, intending to fire that weapon at his intended targets, Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, without concern for what would happen to anyone else outside the pub.”
Chapman was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, two counts of battery with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and one count of assault causing actual bodily harm, as well as possession of a Skorpion submachine gun with intent to endanger life and ammunition with the intent to endanger life.