Man accused of murdering Elle Edwards guilty of handling stolen goods

Man, 23, accused of murdering Elle Edwards, 26, who was shot dead in Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve pleads guilty to charge of handling stolen goods

  • Connor Chapman admitted to handling stolen goods at Liverpool Crown Court 
  • He denies eight other counts, including the murder of beautician Elle Edwards

A man accused of murdering Elle Edwards at a Merseyside pub on Christmas Eve has pleaded guilty to handling the car which was allegedly used in her shooting.

Connor Chapman, 23, admitted to the offences at Liverpool Crown Court ahead of his trial for the murder of the beautician, who was shot outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village on the Wirral last year.

The handling stolen goods charge relates to a Mercedes A Class vehicle which he is said to have handled between December 23 and December 31 last year.

He denies eight other counts, including the murder of 26-year-old Ms Edwards. He has also entered not guilty pleas to the charges of attempted murder of Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld and three counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm towards Harry Loughran, Nicholas Speed and Liam Carr.

Chapman is also charged with possession of a converted Skorpion submachine gun and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Connor Chapman, 23, admitted to handling stolen goods at Liverpool Crown Court ahead of his trial for the murder of the beautician

Elle Edwards, 26, (pictured) was killed on December 24 at the Lighthouse Inn pub in Wallasey Village near Liverpool

Chapman, who had his hair in a bun and wore a white shirt and grey tie, is standing trial alongside co-defendant Thomas Waring, 20, of Private Drive, Barnston, Wirral.

Waring is charged with possession of a Skorpion submachine gun and assisting an offender by helping dispose of the car allegedly used by Chapman after the shooting.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to an additional count of failing to comply with a disclosure notice.

A jury of 12, with two additional jurors who will sit through the opening, was sworn in for the case, expected to last up to four weeks.

Mr Justice Goose told the jury panel: ‘This trial is one that concerns the events which occurred on Christmas Eve, December 24, last year outside a public house on the Wirral, in Wallasey, called the Lighthouse.

‘Shortly before midnight a man fired a machine gun which killed a young woman and injured others.

‘There has been significant publicity about the shooting which you may have seen already.

‘It is important in this, as in all criminal trials, you as jurors are impartial and are not connected to any of the people or places involved in these events.’

The trial is expected to open on Tuesday.

Floral tributes were left outside the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, on Boxing Day

At an inquest on January 5 at the Gerard Majella Courthouse in Liverpool, coroner Anita Bhardwaj said: ‘This is such a tragic death of a beautiful young woman who clearly had a bright future ahead of her and so much to offer both in her career as well as personally. 

‘We all appreciate, I think, as parents, nothing can prepare us for the death of a child in any way, shape or form and I think we can only imagine what the parents and family are going through.’ 

Following the inquest, Ms Edwards’ father Tim paid tribute to her by saying: ‘We will love and miss her forever. Our Elle May, the most beautiful and bright star out there, forever and always. 

Flowers and tribute messages were left outside the Lighthouse Inn following the shooting on Christmas Eve

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Ms Edwards’ funeral at St Nicholas Church in Wallasey in January

‘My beautiful Elle Marlene is the love of my life and she is my world, my best friend. She will always shine and be beautiful and bright’.

Her younger sister Lucy Edwards wrote an emotional tribute on social media which said: ‘I should not be waking up this morning on New Year’s Day without you.’

Taking to Instagram to share a reel of photos and videos of her sister, Lucy wrote: ‘I miss you so much sis. Elle May you are and will always be my best friend, sidekick, partner in crime, soul mate and big sister.

‘You are beautiful inside and out, you are the kindest person ever and you wanted nothing but the best for me.

‘I miss everything about you, especially our daily catch ups, our long drives, we’d blast the music and sing so loud that people in traffic would be laughing at us, but we were always in our own bubble and we didn’t care.’

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