Man accused of Christmas Eve shooting ‘given anti-gang injunction beforehand’

Connor Chapman denies murdering beautician Elle Edwards outside the Lighthouse pub in Wirral on Christmas Eve last year.

A man accused of killing a 26-year-old woman in a shooting outside a pub on Christmas Eve was served with an injunction to prevent gang violence two months before, a court has heard.

Connor Chapman, 23, is accused of murdering beautician Elle Edwards when he fired 12 shots from a Skorpion sub-machine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside.

A trial at Liverpool Crown Court has heard his intended victims were Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, who were injured along with three other men, and the shooting was the culmination of a feud between people on the Woodchurch and Beechwood estates, located on either side of the M53 in Wirral.

On Wednesday, the jury was shown footage of an assault carried out by Mr Salkeld and Mr Duffy, from the Beechwood estate, on Sam Searson, from the Woodchurch estate, the day before Ms Edwards’ murder.

The court heard on October 26 last year Chapman was served with an interim injunction “to prevent gang-related violence”.

Katy Appleton, prosecuting, said the notice prohibited Chapman from associating with a number of named individuals – including Mr Salkeld, Mr Duffy and Mr Searson.

Chapman, who at the time was living with his grandparents on Woodland Road, was prohibited from entering the Woodchurch estate, other than via a route to get to his address, and the Beechwood estate.

Elle Edwards' family
The father of Elle Edwards, Tim Edwards, arrives with family members arrive for a previous hearing at court (Peter Byrne/PA)

The order, which was re-issued on November 16 after it expired, also prevented him from threatening to use violence, engaging in abusive or threatening conduct, being in possession of Class A or B drugs and possessing equipment for use in the manufacture, cultivation or distribution of class A or B drugs.

The jury was told on November 28 Chapman was in the company of two other men, Curtis Byrne and Mason Smith, in the immediate aftermath of a burglary in which two electric bikes were stolen.

Ms Appleton said Mr Byrne and Mr Smith, who both pleaded guilty to the burglary, were shown with Chapman and the two stolen bikes on a phone video taken shortly after the incident.

She said Mr Byrne was shot in the leg with a Glock self-loading pistol on December 3.

Fifteen days later, on December 18, the same weapon was used to shoot Kieran Cowley, the court heard.

A stolen Ford Kuga car, which Mr Duffy had been seen in two days earlier, was used in the attack.

Chapman denies the murder of Ms Edwards, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He also denies possession of a Skorpion sub-machine gun with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Co-defendant Thomas Waring, 20, of Private Drive, Barnston, Wirral, denies possessing a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender by helping Chapman to dispose of the car.

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