PICTURED: Connor Chapman accused of murdering Elle Edwards
A man has appeared in court and is accused of murdering Elle Edwards by submachine gunning her outside a pub on Christmas Eve.
Connor Chapman, 22, appeared at Wirral Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning and was remanded in custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.
In addition to murder, he was charged with two counts of attempted murder, of Jake Duffy and Kieran Salkeld, and three counts of unlawful and willful wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, of Harry Loughran, Nicholas Speed and Liam Carr.
He was also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, involving a converted Skorpion submachine gun, and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Connor Chapman, 22, arrived at Wirral Magistrates Court this morning in a prison van accompanied by unmarked police cars
Elle Edwards, 26, (pictured) was murdered on December 24 at the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village near Liverpool
A prison van believed to be transporting Chapman arrives at Wirral Magistrates Court today
All counts are believed to have taken place on 24 December last year at the lighthouse in Wallasey Village, Wirral.
Chapman, dressed in a gray tracksuit and with long hair, was also charged with handling stolen property, a Mercedes A-class car, between December 22 and 26 last year.
He spoke to confirm his name and date of birth and said he had no permanent address.
The hearing, attended by a dozen members of the press, lasted about three minutes.
Mrs Edwards, a 26-year-old beautician, was shot dead in the Lighthouse pub shortly before midnight on 24 December.
She is not believed to have been the intended target of the attack. A 23-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of aiding an offender has been released on bail pending further inquiries, Merseyside police said on Friday.
Three other people were previously arrested in connection with the murder.
Police have said the young beautician was not the intended target of the gunfire, which was believed to have been fired as part of a botched revenge drive
Following the Christmas Eve shooting, flowers and tributes were left outside the Lighthouse Inn
A 31-year-old man from Tranmere, Wirral, and a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry, Wirral, were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and released on bail pending further inquiries.
A 30-year-old man from Tranmere, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, has been recalled to prison with a permit.
At the 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 personal.
“We all realize, I think, as parents, that nothing can prepare us for the death of a child, in any way, in any form, and I think we can only imagine what the parents and the going through family.”
Flower tributes are left outside the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, on Boxing Day
Mrs Edwards, whose occupation was given as a dental assistant/beautician, was pronounced dead at Arrowe Park Hospital on Christmas Day after being taken there from the pub.
Ms Bhardwaj said, “Others were also shot at that location, but unfortunately Elle was the one who lost her life.”
A preliminary cause of death was given as gunshot wounds to the head.
Ms Bhardwaj said she would release Ms Edwards’ body to her family.
Toxicology analysis would be performed before a full autopsy report, she said.
The judicial inquiry was postponed to May 5, when Ms Bhardwaj said an update on the police investigation would be forthcoming.
Elle Edwards’ father, Tim Edwards, at a press conference at Merseyside Police Station in Liverpool about his daughter’s Christmas Eve shooting
The victim’s father, Tim, paid tribute to her saying, “We will love and miss her forever. Our Elle May, the most beautiful and brightest star there is, forever and ever. 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 saying, “I shouldn’t be waking up this New Year’s Day morning without you.”
Lucy took to Instagram to share a series of photos and videos of her sister, writing, “I miss you so much sister. Elle May you be and always be my best friend, sidekick, partner in crime, soulmate and big sister.
“You are beautiful inside and out, you are the nicest person ever and you wanted nothing but the best for me.
“I miss everything about you, especially our daily overtakes, our long drives, we would blast the music and sing so loud people in traffic would laugh at us, but we were always in our own bubble and we didn’t care.”