Environmental health worker Ashley Dale, 28, was shot dead at her home in Liverpool with a Skorpion sub-machine gun (Picture: PA)
Four men have been found guilty of the murder of a council worker who was shot dead at her home in Liverpool.
Ashley Dale, 28, died shortly after James Witham, 41, burst into her house and opened fire with a Skorpion machine gun in the early hours of August 21 last year.
Witham had admitted to manslaughter but denied murder.
After a six-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Witham has been found guilty of murder by a jury today.
Three other men – Joseph Peers, 29, Niall Barry, 26, and Sean Zeisz, 28 – have also been found guilty of murder for their part in her death.
One of the bullets fired by Witham ripped through Miss Dale’s abdomen, causing ‘catastrophic’ damage.
The environmental health worker managed to get to the back garden of her property in Old Swan but collapsed and died at the scene.
James Witham, 41, pictured when he was arrested in St Helens in connection with Miss Dale’s death (Picture: PA)
Jurors previously heard how Witham then went up to her bedroom and sprayed five more bullets at the wall to send a message to her partner Lee Harrison that he ‘had been the principal target of this attack and he too should be dead’.
Witham was driven to the property by ‘foot soldier’ Peers who denied he was there – instead claiming he was at home with his parents watching boxing at the time.
The attack is said to have happened after a feud between Barry and Mr Harrison was re-ignited when Zeisz was assaulted at the Glastonbury festival in June 2022.
All five men were together in a flat in Pilch Lane in Huyton, Merseyside, on the evening of August 20 before Witham and Peers left shortly after 10pm, the court heard.
Miss Dale was killed in August last year in an attack which the assailant said was targeted at her partner Lee Harrison (Picture: PA)
During the trial, voice recordings made by Miss Dale before her death have been played to the court in which she described her ‘terrible anxiety’ and told friends Barry, who had fallen out with Mr Harrison several years before, was ‘on some pure rampage’.
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