Granada Reports Merseyside Correspondent Andy Bonner reports from Liverpool Crown Court
The man who murdered Elle Edwards outside a Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve has been jailed for life with a minimum of 48 years.
The 26-year-old beautician was killed when Connor Chapman, 23, fired 12 shots from the Skorpion pistol into a group of people outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, shortly before midnight on 24 December.
Chapman was also found guilty 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 sub-machine gun with intent to endanger life and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Co-defendant Thomas Waring, 20, was sentenced to nine years.
Waring was found guilty of the possession of a prohibited firearm and assisting an offender by helping to burn out the stolen Mercedes used in the shooting.
In a hearing which can be reported following the conclusion of the trial, William England, defending Waring, said he had been attacked after arriving back at HMP Altcourse on Wednesday, 5 July.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Goose said: "What you did Connor Chapman was as wicked as it was shocking.
"I'm satisfied that you are a highly dangerous man. You carefully planned a revenge attack in gang rivalry, you had no thought for anyone else.
"The murder of Elle Edwards has caused permanent and profound grief to her family. She was a very much loved woman killed in her prime by you, Chapman."
Members of Elle Edwards’ family shouted “goodbye lad”, “scumbag” and “rat” as Connor Chapman was taken down from the dock.
Nigel Power KC, prosecuting, said the murder was the culmination of a gang feud in Wirral, where there had been nine shootings in 2022.
He said Chapman had recorded a rap video while in custody last year after an aggravated burglary at his mother’s home.
In the video, he made comments including: “If I make it out of here I’m due to become famous because if you touch one of mine, I’ll leave your soul on the pavement.”
He also said: “I know I’ve been a scumbag but I’m proud of that."
Statements from Ms Edwards’ father Tim, brother Connor and grandmother Susan were read to the court.
A paragraph from her mother, Gaynor, was included in Mr Edwards’ statement in which she said: “First of all I want to know why have you done this, what drove you to do this to my daughter? Since Elle has been gone I have never been the same, I can’t accept that she has gone. I still think she’ll come home.”
Her grandmother said: “If I were to die tomorrow, the coroner would write on my death certificate ’cause of death: she died of a broken heart’.”
Mark Rhind KC said there was “very little” mitigation and said: “I cannot suggest there is remorse.”
He said Chapman had two children, one whom he had never met, and they would be middle-aged by the time he was released.
Elle Edwards' dad Tim gave a short statement outside Liverpool Crown Court following the sentencing
Speaking outside Liverpool Crown Court, Elle's dad Tim said: "Thankfully now he [Connor Chapman] has got 48 years and hopefully he never sees Christmas again.
"If I'm lucky enough to still be around for a long time yet, I'll do my best to make sure he never comes out.
"Things need to change and we've made a start with that. Forty eight years, if you're thinking about picking up a gun now, you should think twice about it."