The gunman who killed a 26-year-old beautician when he opened fire outside a pub on Christmas Eve has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 48 years.

Connor Chapman, 23, was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court of the murder of Elle Edwards, who was hit twice in the back of the head when he fired 12 shots from a Skorpion submachine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, Merseyside, shortly before midnight on December 24 last year.

Ms Edwards’ family shouted “scumbag” and “rat” as he was jailed on Friday.

Mr Justice Goose described the CCTV of the shooting, in which five other people were injured when Chapman fired 12 shots, as “utterly shocking”.

He said: “What you did, Connor Chapman, to those six victims, was as wicked as it was shocking.

“You murdered Elle Edwards, bringing an end to her young life.”

He added: “Your intention was to murder Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, but you didn’t care who else would be killed, that’s why you fired all the bullets at the group.

“I’m satisfied that you are a highly dangerous man.”

He sentenced Chapman to two concurrent life sentences, with a minimum term of 22 years, for the attempted murder of his intended targets Duffy and Salkeld.

Nigel Power KC, prosecuting, said the murder was the culmination of a gang feud in Wirral, where there had been nine shootings in 2022.

He said Chapman had recorded a rap video while in custody last year after an aggravated burglary at his mother’s home.

In the video, he made comments including: “If I make it out of here I’m due to become famous because if you touch one of mine, I’ll leave your soul on the pavement.”

Elle Edwards
Elle Edwards was killed when Connor Chapman fired a submachine gun outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve (Family handout/PA)

He also said: “I know I’ve been a scumbag but I’m proud of that.”

He told the court Chapman’s brother Lewis had been shot with a Skorpion, although a different weapon to the one which killed Ms Edwards, in August 2022 but refused to co-operate with the police investigation.

Statements from Ms Edwards’ father Tim, brother Connor and grandmother Susan were read to the court.

A paragraph from her mother, Gaynor, was included in Mr Edwards’ statement in which she said: “First of all I want to know why have you done this, what drove you to do this to my daughter? Since Elle has been gone I have never been the same, I can’t accept that she has gone. I still think she’ll come home.”

Her grandmother said: “If I were to die tomorrow, the coroner would write on my death certificate ’cause of death: she died of a broken heart’.”

Mark Rhind KC said there was “very little” mitigation and said: “I cannot suggest there is remorse.”

He said Chapman had two children, one of whom he had never met, and they would be middle-aged by the time he was released.

Speaking outside court, Mr Edwards said: “Things need to change and we’ve made a start with that.

“I think, 48 years, if you think of picking up a gun now you should think twice about it.”

Co-defendant Thomas Waring was sentenced to nine years for possession of a prohibited weapon, assisting an offender and failing to comply with a disclosure notice.

Chapman was also sentenced for two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of a Skorpion submachine gun with intent to endanger life and ammunition with intent to endanger life as well as handling stolen goods.