A man who murdered a 26-year-old beautician when he fired a sub-machine gun into a crowd outside a pub on Christmas Eve has been jailed for a minimum of 48 years.

Connor Chapman, 23, was found guilty of murdering Elle Edwards by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.

Members of Ms Edwards’ family shouted “goodbye lad”, “scumbag” and “rat” as Chapman was taken down from the dock after being sentenced on Friday.

The judge at Liverpool Crown Court, Mr Justice Goose, told Chapman: “I am satisfied that you are a highly dangerous man.

“In this trial, we have all watched the CCTV and sound recording of that shooting.

“It’s utterly shocking. You carefully planned a revenge attack in gang rivalry. You had no thought at all for anyone else, least of all innocent people.”

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

He also said Chapman has two children, one of whom he has never met. They will be middle-aged by the time he is released.

Ms Edward’s father, Tim Edwards, said outside court after the sentencing: “Thankfully now he’s got 48 years and hopefully he never sees Christmas again.

“If I’m lucky enough to still be around for a long time yet, I will do my best to make sure he never comes out of jail.”

Referring to the lengthy sentence, Mr Edwards added: “If you think of picking up a gun now, you should think twice.”

He also said those investigating the case “did not give up” and were “relentless”.

In her impact statement, Susan Edwards, Elle’s grandmother, said her granddaughter was “very very special to me and my best friend”.

She added: “If I were to die tomorrow, the coroner would write on my certificate, cause of death: ‘She died of a broken heart.'”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player


‘I hope he rots in hell’

Chapman fired 12 bullets from a Skorpion sub-machine gun outside the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey, Merseyside, just 10 minutes before Christmas Day last year.

As well as killing Ms Edwards, he injured five men, two of whom were his intended targets.

His co-defendant, Thomas Waring, 20, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender, after also being found guilty.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player


‘Dangerous’ killer jailed for shooting

He helped to burn out the stolen Mercedes used in the murder.

Chapman was found guilty of Ms Edwards’ murder following a trial that lasted more than three weeks.

He was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one count of assault resulting in actual bodily harm and possession of a firearm.

Ms Edwards’ family were present for every day of Chapman’s trial and, for them, the conviction came as a “huge relief”.