Connor Chapman found guilty of murder of Elle Edwards

Connor Chapman has been found guilty of the murder of Elle Edwards, who tragically lost her life when she was shot outside a pub in Wallasey on Christmas Eve.

The incident occurred at the Lighthouse in Wallasey Village, just minutes before midnight on December 24 2022.

Ms. Edwards was caught in the line of fire when Chapman, in the midst of a gang feud, opened fire with a sub-machine gun, targeting two men. She was merely an innocent bystander, unaware and uninvolved in the conflict.

Following a 16-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Chapman, 23, of Houghton Road, Woodchurch, was also found guilty of attempted murder, wounding with intent to cause GBH and possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He previously pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods in relation to the Mercedes car used on the night of the shooting.

Thomas Waring

Thomas Waring, 20, of Private Drive in Barnston, was found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender in relation to the murder.

Mr Justice Goose said he would sentence Chapman and Waring on Friday at 14:00 GMT.

Elle, 26, was fatally wounded after being shot while standing outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey at just before midnight on Christmas Eve last year.

After firing the gun Chapman left the scene in a stolen Mercedes which was later found burnt out. He was arrested on 10 January this year in a supermarket in Wales.

Elle’s father, Tim Edwards, spoke to BBC Breakfast during Chapman’s trial. Refusing to use the name of the man who murdered his daughter, he said, “That thing that pulled the trigger,” he said. “I hope he rots in hell. Even that’s too good for him.”

Tim said he simply could not fathom why any human being could have done what Chapman did.

“I can’t begin to understand how someone’s mind says ‘we’ll get in a car and we’ll drive to a pub full of people, with a machine gun, and I’m going to open it up and fire it into that pub’.

“Where does that thought come from? Who has that thought?

“Oh, and they think they are getting away with it. This is not Grand Theft Auto. This is not a video game. This is real life.”

Connor Chapman sentenced to minimum of 48 years for murder of Elle Edwards

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds said, “Chapman has continued to deny his involvement in Elle’s death forcing her family to endure the ordeal of a trial where they have had to relive over and over the last moments of her life.

“His cowardly actions on that night rightly shocked the whole of Merseyside and the UK. To fire at his intended targets while they were stood outside in a crowd shows the arrogance and contempt he had for anyone else.

“He then tried to evade justice by taking himself off to Wales where he was eventually detained two weeks after Elle’s murder.

“He has continued to deny his guilt throughout the trial but the jury has seen through his lies and righty convicted him.

“I am pleased that we have secured justice for Elle and her family and that a dangerous man has been removed from the streets of Merseyside.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Elle’s family who throughout this whole investigation and the trial have remained dignified and composed despite being forced to relive the horrific events of Christmas Eve. I hope that now they can start to properly grieve their loss.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the investigation team for their continued hard work and commitment and to the Crown Prosecution Service and in particular Nigel Power KC and Katy Appleton for successful prosecution of the case.”

Adam Clarke, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said, “The murder of Elle Edwards has devastated a community and left her family and friends distraught by her loss. The Crown Prosecution Service’s case was that the dreadful shooting of Elle Edwards was not a random or inexplicable act.

“Elle Edwards was simply enjoying a night out during the Christmas period when her life was cruelly cut short by the horrific and senseless actions of Connor Chapman.

“Though impossible to comprehend, Chapman’s actions were not a random or inexplicable act. Instead, they were a deliberate attempt on the lives of Jake Duffy and Keiran Salkeld, in the culmination of the ongoing feud between rival gangs from the Woodchurch Estate – which Chapman was affiliated – and the Ford Estate.

“Chapman had planned the attack. He’d obtained the Skorpion gun, arrived in Wallasey just before 9pm and stayed in the area of the Lighthouse Pub for nearly 3 hours before he fired the fatal shots.

“After the shooting, Chapman met up with Thomas Waring and together worked to cover up his crime.

“However, their attempts to evade facing up to the awful crime Chapman committed were prevented by the meticulous investigation by Merseyside Police. This vital evidence meant the Crown Prosecution Service were able to present a strong case to the jury and see Chapman and Waring convicted.”

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell said, “No family should have to face the unimaginable pain and heartache that Elle Edward’s loved ones have endured in the past seven months.

“Elle was a beautiful, vivacious, happy 26-year-old who was out enjoying the Christmas festivities when her life was brutally cut short in the most devastating and senseless way. As her father has said, her life was cut short just as she was reaching her peak.

“There is no justice that can bring Elle back and the last four weeks of the trial and Chapman’s refusal to admit his crimes, forcing her family to relive the events of that tragic night, must only have compounded their unthinkable suffering.

“Their victim impact statements are utterly heart-wrenching. Today’s guilty verdict will not end their own life sentence, but I hope it will bring them some small comfort that he is off the streets and facing many years behind bars for his cowardly and appalling actions.

“I would like to give my sincere thanks to the many dedicated officers, PCSOs and staff of Merseyside Police who worked around the clock in the wake of this awful incident – many forsaking their own Christmases – to support the victims and their families, reassure people living nearby and to bring Chapman to justice.

“I’d also like to thank the many brave witnesses who came forward with evidence to ensure this toxic individual was brought to justice and the wider community of Wallasey who pulled together with empathy and compassion.

“Chapman is part of a dark underbelly of our society who are prepared to use guns with no care for the harm they inflict on others. To fire a powerful submachine pistol at a crowded pub full of innocent people celebrating the holidays is utterly despicable. Yet he has not shown a shred of remorse.

“Dangerous, ruthless individuals like Chapman will never be welcome in Merseyside. The police are relentless in their approach to tackling heartless criminals like him and the cold-blooded gangs who harbour them and I am determined to do everything I can to support this work.

“While we have seen the number of firearms discharges drop significantly in the past decade, we cannot stop until that number is zero.

“To achieve that we need the support of our communities. If you have any information about gun crime – where weapons are being housed or who is using them – my heartfelt plea is please, do the right thing and speak out. By doing so, you could play a vital role in protecting the lives of innocent people and preventing further tragedies.

“Through the roll out of Operation EVOLVE, we are also working closely with all our partners to disrupt and deter these gangs, rooting them out of our communities. Reclaiming and rebuilding our most blighted neighbourhoods, so they are once again places people love to live, work and visit.

“By working together, we can stop those intent on violence and harm and make all our communities stronger and safer.

“If you have any information, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, no-one will know that you have made that call.

“If you have been affected by this case and want to speak to someone or access support, you can contact my Victim Care Merseyside service on 0808 175 3080 or visit

Main image: Merseyside Police/Connor Chapman

Elle Edwards

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