Four Men Found Guilty in Horrifying Murder Case: Council Worker Shot Dead in Alleged Gang Feud

Four Men Found Guilty in Horrifying Murder Case: Council Worker Shot Dead in Alleged Gang Feud

Guilty Verdicts in Horrifying Murder Case

In a shocking turn of events, four men have been found guilty of the brutal murder of a council worker, Ashley Dale, in what is believed to be a result of a feud between criminal rivals.

The trial, held at Liverpool Crown Court, unfolded with details of a meticulously planned attack that claimed the life of the 28-year-old victim.

Background and Alleged Gang Feud

The murder, which occurred in August last year, was orchestrated by James Witham, a hitman, along with his accomplices Joseph Peers, Niall Barry, and Sean Zeisz.

The prosecution argued that the motive behind the attack stemmed from a long-running feud between Ashley Dale’s boyfriend, Lee Harrison, and the accused Niall Barry.

Recorded Testimony from Beyond the Grave

A groundbreaking aspect of the trial was the use of recorded testimony from the victim, Ashley Dale, sent in the form of hundreds of voice notes to friends describing the feud.

This marks a historic moment in British legal history, showcasing the evolving methods of securing convictions.

Escalation at Glastonbury Festival and Planned ‘Hit’

The feud reignited at the Glastonbury Festival in 2022, where Barry’s associate, Sean Zeisz, was assaulted by a group linked to Lee Harrison.

The subsequent escalation led to a planned ‘hit,’ with Lee Harrison as the intended target. The violence peaked on the night of August 21, 2022, when Ashley Dale was fatally shot with a Skorpion submachine gun at her home in Old Swan, Liverpool.

Details of the Attack and Victim’s Fear

During the trial, prosecutor Paul Greaney detailed the horrifying attack, explaining how the perpetrators slashed car tires to lure the occupants outside. Despite the alarm going off, Ashley Dale stayed inside, thinking it was activated by the rain.

Witham and Peers returned, kicked down the door, and shot her deliberately and mercilessly. Greaney highlighted evidence from Ashley’s iPhone, describing her fear of Niall Barry, nicknamed ‘Branch.’

Convictions and Additional Charges

The four men, Witham, Peers, Barry, and Zeisz, were convicted of the murder of Ashley Dale, as well as conspiracy to murder Lee Harrison and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Barry and Zeisz face additional charges related to intercepted communications on the Encrochat messaging service.

Other Victims of Gang Feuds

The trial also shed light on other victims of violent gang feuds in Liverpool last year, including nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel and beautician Elle Edwards.

The spate of shootings highlighted the escalating violence between Merseyside drug gangs, leaving communities devastated.

Conclusion: Justice Served, but Challenges Remain

While the convictions bring a measure of justice for Ashley Dale and other victims, challenges persist in addressing the root causes of gang violence.

The case underscores the need for continued efforts to tackle organized crime and protect communities from such tragic events.

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