Her father called the man a “coward” after he was found guilty of murdering a beautician on Christmas Eve when he opened fire with a submachine gun outside a bar.
On December 24, 2017, just before midnight, Connor Chapman, 23, fatally shot Elle Edwards, 26, by firing 12 bullets from the Skorpion handgun into a crowd of people outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside.
After a three and a half week trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Chapman was found guilty of her murder and seven other offences.
Tim Chapman, Elle’s father, glared at Chapman as the verdicts were announced following three hours and 48 minutes of deliberation, and he was removed from the dock while still saying, “You coward.”
Thomas Waring, a co-defendant, was found guilty of having a restricted firearm in his possession and of aiding an intruder by putting out the fire in the stolen Mercedes that was used in the shooting.
Speaking outside court, Mr Edwards said: “Those two cowards in there decided to drag it out for four weeks, put all these people through that and everyone else around it, involved in the case. I can’t thank the police enough for what they did and we got there in the end, the right result.
“I hope them two never see another Christmas again ever in their lives.”
On Friday at 2 p.m., Mr. Justice Goose said that he will sentence Chapman and Waring and issued a warning that he might decide that Chapman should receive a whole-life order.
The trial heard that a dispute between two groups on the Woodchurch and Beechwood estates, located on each side of the M53 in Wirral, culminated in the attack.
The prosecution said Chapman intended to murder Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, who both sustained critical wounds in the shooting.
Sam Searson had been attacked in the street the day before by the two residents of the Beechwood estate, the court heard.
The gunshot also injured three other males, Harry Loughran, Liam Carr, and Nicholas Speed, who had no connection to the conflict.
The jury was informed that Chapman waited outside the bar in a stolen Mercedes for over three hours before firing the weapon, which the jury was informed could fire 15 bullets per second.
The night of the murder, Chapman told the jury, he had given the car key to another man, whom he would not identify, and had not been using the vehicle, which he described as a “pool car” for him and other criminals.
Following the shooting, the gunman was seen on surveillance film leaving the Lighthouse and driving to co-defendant Waring’s house on Private Drive in Barnston.
The long-haired man could be seen walking towards Waring’s house on the video, appearing to drop the pistol.
Prior to the start of the trial, Chapman admitted a charge of handling stolen goods. On December 31, he told the jury that he had travelled with the unidentified individual who had taken the car key when the Mercedes caught fire in Frodsham, Cheshire.
Despite cell site evidence showing Waring’s phone was in the car, he vehemently claimed that Waring had been with him.
Chapman was referred to as a “dangerous and ruthless individual” by the case’s senior investigative officer, Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds.
He said: “Connor Chapman knew exactly what he was doing when he left his home address on December 24, getting in a stolen car in possession of a Skorpion machine pistol.
“He drove to the Lighthouse pub where he spent a number of hours there before finding a car parking space that gave him a real clear view of who was outside.
“He then left his car with no regard for anybody else, intent on firing that gun at his intended targets, Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, with not a care of what would happen to anybody else who was stood outside of the pub.”
In addition, Chapman was found guilty of possessing a Skorpion submachine gun and ammunition with the intent to endanger life, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of wounding with the intent to cause serious bodily harm, and one count of assault resulting in actual bodily harm.