Sister of beautician shot outside pub told her ‘not to be late’ home, court told

Elle Edwards was killed when a gunman opened fire outside the Lighthouse pub in Wirral on Christmas Eve last year.

Eleanor Barlow
Wednesday 14 June 2023 19:05 BST
Elle Edwards’ sister Lucy had been with her in the Lighthouse pub on the evening she was killed (Peter Byrne/PA)
Elle Edwards’ sister Lucy had been with her in the Lighthouse pub on the evening she was killed (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

The sister of a beautician shot outside a pub on Christmas Eve told her not to return home late when she last saw her, just hours before she died, a court has heard.

Elle Edwards, 26, was killed when a gunman with a Skorpion sub-machine gun opened fire outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside shortly before midnight on December 24 last year.

On Wednesday, the jury in the trial of Connor Chapman, 23, who is accused of Ms Edwards’ murder, heard a statement from her younger sister Lucy who had been with her in the pub earlier that evening.

She said they had been to the same pub the previous year and wanted to make it a “Christmas Eve tradition”.

“It was generally a good night,” she said.

In the statement, she said that at one point they left to go to another pub and Elle later dropped her home, between 9.30pm and 10.30pm, before returning to the Lighthouse.

Lucy said: “When I got out of the car, I told Elle not to be late so not to ruin Christmas. She said she wouldn’t, she would be about an hour.”

She last sent her sister a text just before 11.30pm telling her to “get home” but it was never read, the court heard.

Lucy said it was about 1am on Christmas Day that she was woken by her brother George, who told her Elle had been shot.

The shooting is alleged to have been the culmination of an ongoing feud between groups on the Woodchurch estate, where Chapman was from, and the Beechwood estate, where Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, said to be the intended targets, lived.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on October 26 last year, Chapman was served with an interim injunction “to prevent gang-related violence”.

Katy Appleton, prosecuting, said the notice prohibited Chapman from associating with a number of named individuals – including Mr Salkeld and Mr Duffy.

The jury heard about a number of events in the weeks running up to the shooting linked to people from both estates, on either side of the M53 in Wirral.

They included a burglary and two shootings.

Footage of an assault carried out by Mr Duffy and Mr Salkeld on Sam Searson, from the Woodchurch estate, the day before the murder was played to the jury.

Chapman denies the murder of Ms Edwards, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He also denies possession of a Skorpion sub-machine gun with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Co-defendant Thomas Waring, 20, of Private Drive, Barnston, Wirral, denies possessing a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender by helping Chapman to dispose of the car.

The trial continues on Thursday.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in