Two men found guilty of 'public execution' of dad of two on Merseyside

Patrick Boyle was shot dead in Huyton in July 2021 Credit: Merseyside Police

Two men who carried out the "public execution" of a dad-of-two have been found guilty of murder.

Patrick Boyle, 26 was shot twice in the chest on Newway in Huyton on the afternoon of the 1 July 2021.

He was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

Patrick, who was known as Paddy, was about to become father to a third child.

Dad of two Patrick Boyle died after being shot twice in the chest

Prosecutors say Rueben Murphy was the gunman on an electric bike who showed his victim "no mercy", after arguing with an associate of Mr Boyle's earlier that day over a drug debt.

Self-confessed drug dealer Murphy said at the time Mr Boyle was gunned down, he was in a back garden in another part of Huyton, "off me head on ket".

The 26-year-old denied knowing or shooting Mr Boyle and insisted: "I might have sold drugs in the past, but I'm not a killer."

Reuben Murphy claimed he was "off his head on ket" at the time Patrick Boyle was shot dead Credit: Merseyside Police

Prosecutors argued Murphy's friend Ben Doyle was "complicit" in the killing and helped plan the attack.

Doyle, 24, claimed the murder was committed by a mystery man, who he refused to name because he feared "retribution" and wasn't a "snitch".

Ben Doyle has been found guilty of murder Credit: Merseyside Police

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court found both men guilty of murder, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, and possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Both defendants got up and left the dock as the verdicts were read out to the court. They refused to return to the dock after the verdicts were delivered.

Prosecutors said Lyme Grove in Huyton, where Doyle lived, was "a hub for the launch of the fatal attack".

Murphy said he used to go to the rear garden of an "empty house" next door to Doyle's home to smoke cannabis and sniff ketamine.

He told the jury he argued with Frazer Brown, an associate of Mr Boyle, in that street at around 12.40pm.

He said this was because Mr Brown owed him money over an old cannabis debt and "took the p***" out of him when he went to prison.

Murphy said Mr Brown chased him with a fence panel, before Doyle came out and told Mr Brown to "f*** off".

Prosecutors suggested after the argument the two men made arrangements to get a loaded gun and a blue and white electric bike.

They said that bike, now partially disguised "in black bin bags", left the rear garden gate of a property two houses down from Doyle's home at 5.40pm.

It was alleged Doyle was on the bike and was soon joined by Murphy, who split from his associate and used the bike to travel to Newway and shoot Mr Boyle, just after 5.56pm.

The jury watched footage of the masked gunman - wearing black gloves - then making his way to Barkbeth Road, where Murphy was living at the time, and go off camera for around eight minutes.

The cul-de-sac in Huyton where Patrick Boyle was shot dead Credit: Liv Echo

CCTV showed the rider - no longer wearing gloves and with the dark material wrapped around the bike no longer visible - cycle to Lyme Grove, where he arrived by 6.08pm and spoke to Doyle.

The cyclist went through the rear garden gate at 6.09pm and seconds later, Murphy was said to emerge. Murphy claimed he did not get on an electric bike that day.

He told the jury the man said to be him was "taller and skinnier" and wearing different clothing. Police found a pair of gloves on top of a kitchen cupboard at Murphy's home on 6 July.

The left glove revealed gunshot residue (GSR), which matched GSR inside two cartridge cases found at the scene of the shooting.

Inside the glove produced a mixed DNA profile, said to relate to four people, including Murphy. He told the jury he "definitely" didn't wear any gloves on 1 July, because "it was sunny".

The DNA of Thomas Walker, 20, was discovered on one of the bullet cartridges.

The jury was directed to find Walker not guilty of murder after he admitted possessing ammunition without a certificate - on a date before the day of the shooting - which was accepted by the Crown.

Tributes left at scene where Paddy Boyle was shot dead Credit: Liv Echo

Murphy said multiple phone calls and texts he exchanged with Walker and Doyle that afternoon were about arrangements to go to San Carlo in Liverpool city centre that evening, but he had got "off me face".

Doyle admitted riding the electric bike 10 minutes before the shooting, after carrying out repairs on it for its owner.

Doyle said he then handed the bike over to its owner - a man he would not name out of fear of "retribution".

He admitted riding the electric bike 10 minutes before the shooting, after carrying out repairs on it for its owner.

Doyle said he then handed the bike over to its owner - a man he wouldn't name out of fear of "retribution".

He explained the trip he made on the bike - with the mystery owner sitting behind him - was to give cannabis to a friend. Doyle said he didn't notice the bike was disguised and was only wearing a dark jacket because he was returning it to another pal.

Doyle claimed to have no knowledge the mystery man was armed with a weapon and no idea this man - not Murphy - then carried out a shooting, before he brought the bike back and asked to store it in his neighbour's shed because he'd been "on a chase".

Doyle said he thought this meant "that he had been chased by the bizzies".

Murphy, of Oak Avenue, Newton-le-Willows; Doyle, of Lyme Grove; Huyton; and Walker, of no fixed address but formerly of Clubmoor; will be sentenced at a later date.

Justice Morris told the court Murphy and Doyle’s conviction for murder would mean a life sentence.