Footage Reveals Arrest at Glastonbury
Newly surfaced footage sheds light on the events leading up to the tragic death of Ashley Dale.
The video captures the arrest of James Witham, the alleged killer, at Glastonbury weeks before the fatal incident. Another clip features Ashley Dale at a funeral wake, expressing her apprehensions to friends.
The Tragic Shooting Incident
Ashley Dale, a Knowsley Council worker aged 28, lost her life when gunman James Witham, aged 41, forcibly entered her home in Old Swan on August 21 the previous year.
While Witham has admitted to manslaughter, he, along with four other men, faces a murder charge in connection with Ashley’s death.
Fears Surrounding a Mutual Friend’s Funeral
Voice notes from Ashley Dale provide insight into her concerns about an impending clash between the men involved in her boyfriend’s dispute.
These tensions arose in the aftermath of the suicide of a mutual friend, Rikki Warnick. Ashley expressed distress at the idea of violence at a funeral, considering it disrespectful.
In messages to her friend Mol, Ashley shared her deep-seated fears about her boyfriend Lee Harrison’s safety.
She described a constant sense of stress and anxiety, noting that she couldn’t shake off her apprehensions.
Ashley expressed her vigilance, always looking over her shoulder when with Lee.
The Day of the Funeral Wake
On the day of Rikki Warnick’s wake, Ashley attended alone, while her boyfriend Lee Harrison opted to stay away due to ongoing tensions.
She texted Lee about the situation, expressing discomfort with the presence of certain individuals at the gathering. Ashley felt uneasy being at the wake without him.
James Witham’s Role
James Witham admitted to firing a Skorpion sub-machine gun, ultimately causing Ashley’s death.
He claimed that he did not see or hear Ashley and was attempting to send a message to her partner, Lee Harrison, who was not at home during the incident.
Witham pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder.
Allegations of a Planned Attack
The prosecution alleges that Witham and another man, Joseph Peers, were sent to kill Lee Harrison by three individuals: Niall Barry, Sean Zeisz, and Ian Fitzgibbon.
These individuals purportedly directed the attack from a flat in Huyton, according to the prosecution.
Evidence from Glastonbury Festival
Jurors were shown bodycam footage of police arresting Ashley’s suspected killers at Glastonbury in June of the same year.
During this arrest, a flick knife was found, allegedly used by the gangsters to threaten Ashley’s boyfriend Harrison in a feud.
Tensions and Feuds Unfold
Messages and voice notes from Ashley to her friends revealed previous instances of tension and threats involving Niall Barry, who was said to have produced a knife at Glastonbury and threatened Harrison. The feud between Barry and Harrison had a history spanning several years, with incidents dating back to an earlier robbery.
James Witham, Sean Zeisz, Niall Barry, Joseph Peers, and Ian Fitzgibbon have all pleaded not guilty to charges related to Ashley Dale’s death, including murder and conspiracy.
A sixth individual, Kallum Radford, denies assisting an offender. The trial is ongoing and expected to last for six to eight weeks before Mr. Justice Goose at Liverpool Crown Court.