Man who arranged pizza delivery gangland hit jailed for 26 years

·3-min read
Lewis Fitzpatrick has been jailed for 26 years. (SWNS)
Lewis Fitzpatrick has been jailed for 26 years. (SWNS)

A man who arranged for a hitman to gun down a rival while posing as a pizza delivery driver has been jailed for 26 years.

Lewis Fitzpatrick, 27, organised for gunman Aaron Bretherton, 25, to shoot a rival on his doorstep in Warrington.

But his innocent stepdad 55, answered the door instead and suffered life-changing injuries when he was shot in the leg.

Fitzpatrick was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday after previously being found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.

He was also found guilty of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of cannabis, conspiracy to supply a class B drug and possession of a prohibited firearm.

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General view of Liverpool crown court.
Fitzpatrick was jailed at Liverpool crown court. (PA)

The court heard how the victim had answered the door to his home shortly after 8.45pm on 24 April, 2020, where he found Bretherton outside holding pizza boxes.

But he had not ordered a takeaway and became suspicious as his stepson had been warned by police days earlier that he was in danger of being attacked.

He tried to close the door, but Bretherton opened fire before fleeing.

A gunshot hit the floor, while another bullet travelled through the door and hit the victim in the lower right leg, shattering his tibia and fibula.

The court heard how Fitzpatrick had helped arrange the assault by acting as a middleman for those who had ordered the shooting.

He had completed a reconnaissance mission alongside serving solider Bretherton in the late afternoon of the same day, prior to the attack.

Fitzpatrick drove to the scene of the attack and waited in a van while Bretherton fired three rounds.

Another man, Anthony Morris, had supplied a van from the garage where he worked, which he used to drive the trio between their native Liverpool and the crime scene.

Morris was arrested when police pulled over his van in Southport, Mersyside, two days after the incident.

Bretherton and Fitzpatrick were detained at their homes in May 2020.

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Police tape at the cordon across a crime scene
Police detained Fitzpatrick at his home in May 2020 following the shooting. (PA)

A Glock 9mm handgun was recovered from the extractor of a cooker in Bretherton’s apartment, while ammunition and a magazine were found in the fan in the bathroom.

Gunpowder residue was also discovered on a Prada jacket and a backpack inside the flat, as was £5,000 of cash and a smoke grenade.

A further £4,000 was recovered from Fitzpatrick’s address.

Judge Stuart Driver told Fitzpatrick during sentencing: "There was significant planning, and you played a leading role in a group activity.”

Following sentencing, detective chief inspector Ian Murray, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said the shooting had “shocked the community”.