Ashley Dale: Four men found guilty of murdering council worker who was shot dead in her garden

Ashley Dale: Four men found guilty of murdering council worker who was shot dead in her garden

Four men have been found guilty of murdering council worker Ashley Dale.

The 28-year-old died after being found with a gunshot wound in the garden of her home in Liverpool in the early hours of 21 August last year.

A jury heard the intended target of the shooting was her boyfriend Lee Harrison – described in court as a drug dealer who was in a feud with a rival gang.

However, he wasn’t at the property at the time of the attack.

James Witham, 41, Joseph Peers, 29, Niall Barry, 26, and Sean Zeisz, 28, were found guilty of murdering Ms Dale and conspiring to murder Harrison.

Ian Fitzgibbon was cleared of the charges.

The court heard a gunman fired eight bullets from a sub-machine gun towards Ms Dale and two at the ground – believed to be towards her dog.

He then went upstairs to a bedroom and fired five bullets into a wall “to send a firm message to Lee Harrison”, the prosecution said.

Despite being the principal target and losing his girlfriend, Harrison did not help the police investigation.

The feud that led to the murder reignited after a row at Glastonbury Festival earlier in the summer, the trial was told.

Ms Dale’s trial heard how she had messaged Harrison on the night she was killed to tell him her car alarm was going off.

The jury was shown photos of damage caused to the tyres of her vehicle and were told they had been slashed at 11:40pm on 20 August in an attempt to lure the occupants of the home in Old Swan outside.

Harrison replied just over 20 minutes later saying: “Hahahaha you think your in a horror movie.”

“R u okay? Alive.”

At 12.07am, less than half an hour before she was shot, Ms Dale replied: “No I’m dead.”

Ms Dale’s family broke down in tears at Liverpool Crown Court as the trial was shown the final messages before she died.

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