Gunman loses appeal against sentence for Christmas Eve pub murder of Elle Edwards in Merseyside

A gunman who fatally shot a beautician outside a pub on Christmas Eve in 2022 has lost an appeal against his sentence.

Connor Chapman, 23, was found guilty in July last year of the murder of Elle Edwards, 26, and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 48 years in prison.

Ms Edwards was hit in the back of the head twice when he fired 12 shots from a submachine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside.

The attack was said to be the culmination of a local gang feud.

Five other people were also injured in the shooting as Chapman tried to murder two men - Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, a trial at Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Senior judges rejected Chapman's appeal against the length of his sentence at a hearing in London on Thursday.

His lawyers had argued 48 years in prison was "manifestly excessive" and that his young age was a "small degree of mitigation".

But Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr said Chapman had been "utterly indifferent to who else might be or would be killed or injured in the process" when he carried out the shooting.

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She added it was clear on the night that "many bystanders were present celebrating the holiday season" in the pub.

Baroness Carr, who considered the case alongside Mrs Justice May and Mr Justice Foxton, concluded that Chapman's sentence was "severe, but not manifestly excessive".

"This was a case in which in his obsessive determination to take those two lives, [he] was willing to kill more and could so easily have done so," the judge said.

Since Chapman's arrest, there have been no reports of any shootings in the Wirral, the court heard.

"Firearm discharges" in Merseyside generally also fell from 49 in 2022 to 23 the following year - the lowest figure in 20 years.

At his sentencing last year, a judge described what Chapman did as "wicked as it was shocking" and said he was a "highly dangerous man".

Ms Edwards's mother Gaynor previously said she had "never been the same" since her daughter's murder.

"I can't accept that she has gone," she said in a court statement. "I still think she'll come home."

Her grandmother Susan added: "If I were to die tomorrow, the coroner would write on my death certificate 'cause of death: she died of a broken heart'."