Daniel Gee was buying butty from shop minutes later he was in cuffs

Daniel Gee had no idea as he stood in a shop waiting to buy a sandwich that minutes later he would be in the back of a police car.

Yesterday Tuesday, 25 June, Daniel Gee was found in the New Springs area of Wigan. The former Everton gangster, who turned his own estate into a 24 hour drug trading zone, absconded from Kirklevington Grange Prison in North Yorkshire on May 27.

One man, who asked to remain anonymous, witnessed the moment police descended on the usually quiet council estate. He told how Gee had in fact been buying a sandwich at the time of his arrest, from an off licence, next to the Kirkless Hall Inn pub, and had even seen him a number of times in the area over the last week.

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He said: "Yesterday he was buying a sandwich, he was chatting away then next minute the police came from nowhere. They must have known he was in the shop. He complied with officers as they told him to get on the ground. They hand cuffed him and he was smiling and laughing with them as he was led away."

Speaking about the area in general, he said: "You get a lot of people from Liverpool around here. I never had a problem with him when I saw him around."

Daniel Gee was arrested in Wigan
Daniel Gee was arrested in Wigan -Credit:Merseyside Police

The ECHO also understands another man was with Gee at the time of the arrest, who was also seen getting into a police car.

Merseyside Police is yet to confirm whether anyone else has been arrested in connection to Gee's absconding from prison.

In photos released by Merseyside Police, Gee can be seen smiling as he is arrested at the shop on Albion Drive in Wigan. One neighbour, Angela Whalley, a mum-of-one who has grown up in the area and told the ECHO how the area had "gone downhill".

The 54-year-old support worker said: "It's just got worse. We used to leave the doors open, people would come in freely, we knew all our neighbours when I was growing up. It's all changed now.

"There used to be a waiting list to live on this estate, now look at it. There's drug dealing outside the front door, cars come and go, lads on push bikes. I've lived here all my life, it's a shame."

Gee was originally jailed on an indeterminate sentence for the public's protection in 2010 following his conviction for gun offences after he plotted to arm himself to take revenge against a teenager. The courts heard he had plotted to arm himself after making death threats to 16-year-old gunman Jamie Starkey.

Gee was seriously injured after being shot by Starkey, which happened outside an Anfield pub in the early hours, with one of the bullets piercing his stomach and lung before going out his back. In a trial in October 2009, Gee was found guilty of two counts of threats to kill and another two of blackmail.

This was the moment Daniel Gee was arrested at what is understood to be a pub in Wigan
This was the moment Daniel Gee was arrested at what is understood to be a pub in Wigan -Credit:Merseyside Police

Jurors were unable to agree on the two more serious charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition. As his second trial was about to start, Gee, formerly of Maryport Close, Everton, admitted the second charge. Prosecutor Ian Unsworth KC said Gee’s desire for revenge “knew no bounds”.

Given Gee was in a category D open prison before he absconded, it was likely he would have soon been released from his indeterminate sentence. However, following his capture, he will be returned to prison and will have to serve additional time before he is eligible for parole.

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