'I remember getting to the hospital as quick as I could, the surgeon coming down… it was awful. It was Christmas day.

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The father of a young woman murdered in Merseyside has told how he was 'ready to go to war' in the aftermath of her killing. Elle Edwards, 26, was shot dead on Christmas Eve when she became the victim of a gangland feud which she had nothing to do with.

She was caught in the crossfire, an innocent bystander as rivalries spilled out onto the street. She was on a night out with friends at the Lighthouse Pub in Wallasey Village in 2022 when her life was tragically cut short.

Her killer, low-level cocaine dealer Connor Chapman, had been attempting to kill two men from a rival gang, Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy - who were outside the pub's front entrance, the Echo reports. Tim Edwards, Elle's father, who has since set up a foundation in her memory aimed at combating gun crime, has told of his anger and despair following Elle's death, in a new interview.

READ MORE: Tragedy as man, 20, dies after 'becoming unwell' at Manchester nightclub

He recalled how his daughter was supposed to help him wrap Christmas presents in the final hours of her life, before it was cruelly snatched from her. Mr Edwards said in an interview with The Times as part of a new podcast on the impact of drug dealing on society: "It’s horrendous. Who goes to a pub with a machine gun on Christmas Eve? Really? Come on. This is not a video game. This is real life."

He added: "We'd been out the day before to Manchester. We'd been to Christmas markets and shopping and, the next day... She'd bought me a coat for Christmas, and the original plan was for her to come to mine, and she was going to help me wrap the presents for my grandson and all the other kids in there… but she didn't…

"It could have been so different if we'd have stuck to that plan, but girls being the girls, it was never going to stick to that plan. She just ended up going out with her friends, which is quite right, what she should have been doing."

In the early hours of Christmas morning Tim was woken from a deep sleep by his son, who told him they needed to go the hospital because something had happened to Elle. Upon arriving, he was told by surgeons his daughter was dead.

He spoke of the emotional moment he tried to call Elle on her mobile phone after receiving the harrowing news. He said: "I just remember getting to the hospital as quick as I could. It was quite eerie, there was no one there, and I remember the surgeon coming down and… it was awful. [It was] Christmas day.

"I was with all the kids. Yeah. All the family was there and they put us in a children's ward, which was crazy. I remember I was just angry. There was no patients or kids in there. I was just very angry.

"I was ready to go to war. I was ready to flatten the whole of the Wirral, no bother. I was still, as far as I was concerned, she was going to turn up in the morning. I tried ringing her phone… to speak to her. [It] just rang."

Chapman, of Houghton Road, Woodchurch, was later sentenced to 48 years behind bars after a 16-day trial and four hours of deliberation by a jury.

Speaking about the sentencing, Tim said: "I'll never mention his name. He doesn't deserve the breath out of my mouth to mention his name. As far as I'm concerned he's a piece of s***. And what happens to him, until his last breath I couldn't care less."

Tim says he wants his daughter to be remembered for her "good soul," and added: "Unfortunately we'll never get to see the grandkids that we may have had with Elle, but I hope she's always spoken about in a good, positive way."