The three fatal shootings in a week which rocked Liverpool: How Ashley Dale was ... trends now

The three fatal shootings in a week which rocked Liverpool: How Ashley Dale was ... trends now
The three fatal shootings in a week which rocked Liverpool: How Ashley Dale was ... trends now

The three fatal shootings in a week which rocked Liverpool: How Ashley Dale was ... trends now

Ashley Dale's murderers were today convicted of murdering the council worker in a horrific shooting that was one of three which rocked Liverpool in the space of a week last year.

Ashley, 28, was killed in August last year when gunman James Witham, 41, forced open the door of her flat in Old Swan, Liverpool, firing 10 bullets in her dining room. One hit Ashley in the abdomen as she stood by the back door and five bullets went into the wall of an upstairs bedroom. 

Witham and three other men were found guilty of her murder by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court today and face life sentences for the killing.

The environmental health officer was gunned down just one day before nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool by 'coward' gunman Thomas Cashman.

Cashman, who was jailed for life for shooting Olivia, shot the little girl as he was chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, who tried to run into Olivia's home in a bid to escape. Cashman fired indiscriminately into the hallway, hitting the schoolgirl and injuring her mother.

Sam Rimmer, 22, was also killed in Dingle, Liverpool that same week when shots were fired at his group of friends by people on electric bikes. Ten people have been arrested in relation to Sam's murder and are all currently out on bail.

Ashley Dale, 28, (pictured) was killed in August last year when gunman James Witham, 41, forced open the door of her flat in Old Swan, Liverpool, firing 10 bullets in her dining room. One hit Ashley in the abdomen as she stood by the back door and five bullets went into the wall of an upstairs bedroom

Ashley Dale, 28, (pictured) was killed in August last year when gunman James Witham, 41, forced open the door of her flat in Old Swan, Liverpool, firing 10 bullets in her dining room. One hit Ashley in the abdomen as she stood by the back door and five bullets went into the wall of an upstairs bedroom

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, (pictured) was shot dead at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool by 'coward' gunman Thomas Cashman in August last year. Cashman, who was jailed for life for shooting Olivia, shot the little girl as he was chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, who tried to run into Olivia's home in a bid to escape. Cashman fired indiscriminately into the hallway, hitting the schoolgirl and injuring her mother

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, (pictured) was shot dead at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool by 'coward' gunman Thomas Cashman in August last year. Cashman, who was jailed for life for shooting Olivia, shot the little girl as he was chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, who tried to run into Olivia's home in a bid to escape. Cashman fired indiscriminately into the hallway, hitting the schoolgirl and injuring her mother

Sam Rimmer, 22, (pictured) was also killed in Dingle, Liverpool that same week when shots were fired at his group of friends by people on electric bikes . Ten people have been arrested in relation to Sam's murder and are all currently out on bail

Sam Rimmer, 22, (pictured) was also killed in Dingle, Liverpool that same week when shots were fired at his group of friends by people on electric bikes . Ten people have been arrested in relation to Sam's murder and are all currently out on bail

Ashley was killed in the early hours of August 21 last year when she was 'mercilessly' chased through her home and blasted with a submachine gun after a feud involving her boyfriend. 

Witham opened fire into Ashley's flat and hit the council worker in the abdomen as she stood by the back door. Five bullets went into the wall of an upstairs bedroom.

The gunman admitted her manslaughter but a jury at Liverpool Crown Court today also found him guilty of her murder, along with fellow 'foot soldier' Joseph Peers.

The prosecution alleged that Peers, 29, drove a Hyundai to the scene and earlier helped Witham to stab tyres on Ashley's car in an attempt to lure out the occupants of the house.

Niall Barry, 26, and Sean Zeisz, 28, were also convicted of murder after the jury heard that they organised and encouraged the killing, which came after a feud between Ashley's boyfriend Lee Harrison, 26, and Barry was re-ignited when Zeisz was assaulted at the Glastonbury Festival last year.

A trial at Liverpool Crown Court heard Ashley's own voice describing the falling out between her partner and Barry, as voicenotes which she recorded and sent to friends in the two months before her murder were played to the jury. 

The phone, recovered an arm's length from where Ashley was found in her back garden, had been used in her final moments to try to call Harrison, who was out with friends while she spent the night at home, watching television with her dachshund.

The trial heard that Barry, who ran a County Lines drugs ring, had fallen out with Harrison three years earlier over the alleged theft of drugs.

James Witham

Niall Barry

James Witham and Niall Barry are among four men who were today found guilty of murdering council worker Ashley Dale 

Sean Zeisz

Joseph Peers

Sean Zeisz and Joseph Peers were also found guilty of murdering Ms Dale and conspiracy to murder her partner, Lee Harrison 

Ashley, 28, was killed last year when gunman James Witham, 41, forced open the door of her flat in Liverpool

Ashley, 28, was killed last year when gunman James Witham, 41, forced open the door of her flat in Liverpool 

But at the Glastonbury Festival in 2022, his close associate and fellow drug dealer Zeisz was beaten up by a group including Harrison's friend, Jordan Thompson, who the court heard was a member of a rival organised crime group, the Hillsiders.

To compound Zeisz's 'loss of face', after he wandered off, his then girlfriend Olivia McDowell went to stay with Ashley and Harrison at the festival, before later splitting with him and developing a relationship with Thompson, 20.

The feud escalated in the weeks that followed and a hit was planned with Harrison the intended target.

There were calls of 'yes' from Ashley's family, including mother Julie Dale and her partner Rob Jones, who shared hugs of relief in the public gallery as the guilty verdicts were returned.

But Zeisz's father shouted obscenities.

The four men were also convicted of conspiracy to murder Harrison and of conspiracy to possess a prohibited weapon and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

A fifth defendant, Ian Fitzgibbon, 28, was cleared of the same charges.

And a sixth man, Kallum Radford, 25, was also found not guilty of assisting an offender for arranging to hide the Hyundai i30 car used by Peers and Witham.

Trial judge Mr Justice Goose, who will sentence the men, adjourned the case until Wednesday for sentencing.

Ashley's case is believed to be the first in British legal history to use the recorded testimony of the victim from beyond the grave to secure

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