Man accused of pub shooting tells court he ‘took clothes to woman’s house’

Connor Chapman denies murdering Elle Edwards outside a pub in Wirral last Christmas Eve.

Eleanor Barlow
Monday 03 July 2023 15:37 BST
Elle Edwards was shot dead outside a Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve last year (Handout/PA)
Elle Edwards was shot dead outside a Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve last year (Handout/PA) (PA Media)

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Louise Thomas

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The man accused of murdering a beautician outside a pub on Christmas Eve took all his clothes to a woman’s house after discovering police wanted to speak to him, he told a court.

Connor Chapman, 23, allegedly murdered Elle Edwards, 26, by opening fire with a Skorpion sub-machine gun outside the Lighthouse in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside, just before midnight on December 24 last year.

Under cross-examination at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, Chapman was asked where the trainers he was seen wearing the day before the murder were now.

He said: “The prosecution know what happened to my trainers.”

Chapman said he had put all his clothes in a “Christmas rucksack” and took them to the house of a woman who lives nearby.

He refused to name the woman, until he was told reporting restrictions would prevent her identity being revealed.

The defendant told the jury: “It was definitely in January. I went back to the house and got all my stuff from my house.”

He said he told the woman he had been kicked out of his house and asked her to keep hold of the bag.

“As far as I was concerned police were going to seize everything off me,” he said.

“I wasn’t prepared to let them take everything I’ve gained in the past 12 months.”

He added: “The principle of it was so all of my clothes didn’t get seized because I have had all of my clothes seized off me before and you never get them back.”

He told the court he did not know he was wanted on suspicion of murder at the time, although he knew police had been to his grandparents’ house to look for him.

He said: “If I had known I was wanted for murder then time would have been critical.

“They say, don’t they, the first 48 hours to murder.”

Asked by Nigel Power KC, prosecuting, who said the first 48 hours after a murder are critical, he said: “Crime documentaries and stuff like that.”

Chapman was asked why co-defendant Thomas Waring had suggested, through his barrister, that Chapman went to his house following the shooting.

He said: “I wouldn’t really know why Tom would say that.

“In my personal opinion he’s got more than enough reason to tell the prosecution what they want to hear.”

He accepted going with another person to burn out the stolen Mercedes A Class used in the murder but said Waring had not been there.

Asked who he went to burn the car out with on December 31, he said: “I’m just finding it hard. There’s certain things I can and can’t speak on.

“I know it’s not acceptable, I understand.”

Chapman allegedly targeted Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld on the night of the murder in the culmination of a feud between groups on the Woodchurch estate and Beechwood estate, on either side of the M53 in Wirral.

He denies murdering Ms Edwards, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Chapman also denies having a Skorpion sub-machine gun with intent to endanger life and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

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

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