Three men have been sentenced to life for the joint enterprise murder of a teenager on a canal towpath in Liverpool.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Jake Culshaw, 25, John Martin, 20 and Paul Martin, 26, murdered 16-year-old Lewis Dunne on 15 November 2015 and they were convicted earlier today (16 November).
Lewis was discovered on the canal towpath by a passer-by on the night of the murder.
An examination showed he had been shot in the back with a shotgun that was later found abandoned in the canal.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that Lewis was an innocent victim of an on-going battle between two local street gangs that had begun earlier in the day.
CCTV had earlier captured four men, including Culshaw and Paul and John Martin, in the area and they were seen running away immediately after Lewis was shot. One of them was carrying what appeared to be a shotgun.
Technology that tracks the use of mobile phones further linked the three men to the scene.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Sara Drysdale from Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said:
“Lewis Dunne was the innocent victim of a senseless and violent dispute between two street gangs in the north of Liverpool.
“This prosecution was the result of a long and painstaking operation by Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service and the search for the fourth man seen on the CCTV on that night will continue.
“The Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted this case as joint enterprise. We said that Culshaw and John and Paul Martin acted together with the same aim and that they were all guilty of Lewis’s murder.
“Some have said Lewis Dunne was in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ but Lewis had every right to be where he was on that night.
“It was Jake Culshaw and John and Paul Martin that were in the wrong place, lying in wait to exact a vicious revenge on a rival gang. But they shot and killed Lewis Dunne instead, leaving his family devastated. Our thoughts and condolences are with them at this very difficult time.”