The Daily Telegraph

Alleged gunman faces murder charge over Christmas pub attack

Suspect, 22, found with converted submachine gun and bullets, court hears in Merseyside shooting trial

- By Jack Hardy Crime Correspond­ent

A MAN has been charged with the murder of Elle Edwards, who was shot dead at a pub in Merseyside on Christmas Eve.

Connor Chapman, 22, is accused of being the gunman who opened fire at the entrance to the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, shortly before midnight on Dec 24.

Edwards, a 26-year-old beautician, suffered a fatal gunshot injury to the head, but is not believed to have been the intended target of the attack, which left four men injured.

Appearing before Wirral magistrate­s’ court yesterday, Mr Chapman, with long hair and wearing a grey tracksuit, was told he faced nine charges relating to the incident.

He is alleged to have been in possession of a converted Scorpion submachine gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

As well the murder of Edwards, the court heard he was charged with the attempted murder of Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, and the unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm of Harry Loughran, Nicholas Speed and Liam Carr. He was also charged with handling stolen goods, a Mercedes A Class car, between Dec 22 and 26 last year.

Mr Chapman spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and said he was of no fixed address.

Susie Haggstrom, the chairman of the bench, told Mr Chapman during the three-minute hearing that he would be remanded in custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard that the magistrate­s were precluded from considerin­g the issue of bail and could only allocate the case to a Crown Court. A 23-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender was released on bail pending further inquiries, Merseyside Police said yesterday.

Three other people were previously arrested in connection with the murder.

A 31-year-old man from Tranmere, Wirral, and a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry, Wirral, were held on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and bailed pending further inquiries.

A 30-year-old man from Tranmere, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, was recalled to prison on licence.

Following her death, Edwards’s family paid tribute to her.

Their statement said: “There was no one as beautiful as our Elle May, her looks, her laugh and the way she would light up a room as soon as she walked in.

“She had this way about her that as soon as you met her you just instantly fell in love with her, everyone that met Elle knew how special she was.

“Her laugh was infectious anyone who was around her had a good time, she loved her life and had so many amazing plans for the future.

“She was only just getting started. Christmas and our family will never be the same again without her.

“She was the glue that held this big family together, from all of us.”

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 ?? ?? Connor Chapman, 22, is charged with the murder of 26-year-old Elle Edwards, inset, in Wallasey Village, Wirral, on Christmas Eve
Connor Chapman, 22, is charged with the murder of 26-year-old Elle Edwards, inset, in Wallasey Village, Wirral, on Christmas Eve

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