23rd March, 2021

Jaime Hamilton KC and Phil Barnes secure conviction in EncroChat drug shooting

Three men have been convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life after an innocent man was shot on his doorstep. The intended target of the shooting - the victim’s stepson - was not at home when the gunman arrived at the door masquerading as a pizza delivery man.  Four shots were fired, striking the victim in the leg and causing life-changing injuries.  

Jaime Hamilton KC, leading Phil Barnes, presented to the jury at Liverpool Crown Court a case built on detail - telephone movements, vehicles, CCTV and - importantly - the communications between the gang and their leaders, derived from the EncroChat messaging system which was compromised in 2020. The EncroChat material demonstrated to the jury the ordering of the shooting, including the gang exchanging names, addresses and vehicles used by the intended target and his friends and family.

The three convicted men - Lewis Fitzpatrick, Aaron Bretherton and Anthony Morris - will be sentenced in due course. A fourth man pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced alongside them. Bretherton and Fitzpatrick were also convicted of conspiracy to possess another firearm and ammunition a few days after the shooting.

The Cheshire Police article can be found here.



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