Monday 12th November 2007 <-----
A young mother was "executed" because of a 12-year-old grudge against her partner, a court has heard.
Lucy Hargreaves, 22, from Liverpool, was shot and set on fire in a revenge attack against her boyfriend Gary Campbell, the prosecution alleged.
Liverpool Crown Court heard he had been a passenger in a stolen car which crashed killing the four-year-old brother of one of the defendants.
Kirk Bradley, 21, and Anthony Downes, 20, from Huyton-with-Roby deny murder.
Anthony Downes' brother was killed in the car crash in 1993.
Miss Hargreaves was asleep on the living room sofa at her home in Walton, when three masked men armed with a sawn-off shotgun broke into the house in August 2005.
She was shot twice in the stomach and once in the head before the duvet cover she was sleeping under was covered in petrol and set alight.
Petrol was also poured around the entrance and stairs of the property to block any escape for those upstairs.
It was an event conducted quite deliberately and in as cold-blooded a way as can be imagined
Gordon Cole QC, Prosecution
Mr Campbell, who had been asleep upstairs with the couple's youngest daughter Faye, then aged nine months, was able to escape the fire after jumping with the child through a first floor window.
After taking the Baby
to a neighbour's property, he ventured back into the burning house and dragged Miss Hargreaves out.
But she had already died of her wounds.
Downes, 20, of Huyton, Merseyside, and Kirk Bradley, 21, also of Huyton, deny murder.
Merseyside police have named Kevin Parle, 26, of no fixed address, as their third suspect. Parle has never been found.
Gordon Cole QC, said to the jury: "It may be that it was thought to be Gary Campbell who was asleep under the duvet on the sofa and therefore she was not the intended victim.
"Or it maybe that they realised it wasn't Campbell and they carried on in some form of retribution.
"Whatever the answer, we say that those three men forced their way into the house and shot Lucy Hargreaves in a way that amounts to an execution."
He added: "It was an event conducted quite deliberately and in as cold-blooded a way as can be imagined, with the deliberate setting of fire which probably had the intention of killing anybody else in the house."
A third defendant, Adam McNally, 18, of Norris Green, Liverpool, denies stealing the getaway car used by the killers.
The case continues. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7091076.stm