Eight members of a Salford gang, nicknamed ‘The A Team’ have been jailed following several shooting attempts after a gangland row.
The first incident surrounded a shooting in Ashton-on-Makerfield in 2015 when an attempted shooting on a 31-year-old male.
The second involved the shooting of seven-year-old Christian Hickey on his own doorstep in what has been described as a botched gangland shooting.
Intent on striking a blow in retaliation to the killing of Salford’s ‘Mr Big’ Paul Massey, Aldaire Warmington authorised the shooting of Chris Hickey – a man who was not a member of the rival group but was close friends with its leader having known him since childhood.
On the evening of 12 October 2015, two men attended Mr Hickey’s home address and stood on the driveway. Thomasson knocked on the door as the other man, who was armed with a gun, stood behind a van that was parked on the driveway.
Thinking that it might be his sister arriving home from swimming, seven-year-old Christian Hickey Jnr ran to the window and told his mum, Jayne, that there was a postman at the door.
Jayne, 30, answered the door and was confronted by Thomasson who asked if her husband was home. As she closed the door slightly and turned to shout her husband, the second man emerged from behind the van and shot through the door a number of times, hitting Jayne and little Christian in the legs.
The pair suffered serious life changing injuries and have undergone multiple surgeries since.
Thomasson and the gunman fled the scene in a black Audi S3 which was driven to Edinburgh by Christopher Hall the following day so that it could be disposed of.
Telephony evidence confirmed that James Coward, Dominic Walton, Lincoln Warmington and an unidentified person in Edinburgh had been in contact with each other, seemingly making arrangements for the disposal of the car.
This gun was later recovered by GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group on 15 December 2015 in the possession of Christopher Hall and Aldaire Warmington in Mobberley, Cheshire.
Both Warmington and Hall are currently serving prison sentences in connection with the recovery however during the latest trial, Carne Thomasson admitted to being actively involved in the movement of the gun.
Although the gunman for both incidents remains unidentified, subsequent enquiries by the investigation team confirmed that the same gun was used in each shooting.
Detective Chief Inspector Carl Jones, of GMP’s Major Incident Team and the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Leopard, said: “Today we have seen eight members of a Salford based organised crime group sentenced for their roles in two plots to shoot men in cold blood as part of a feud with another OCG.
“Although none of them pulled the trigger, each man played their respective parts in the conspiracies and most of them considered themselves untouchable, believing that they could lie their way out of trouble.
“Thankfully the jury saw through their lies and they deserve to be exactly where they are, facing a lengthy prison sentence.
“To shoot a young boy on his doorstep is absolutely sickening and the thought of getting justice for Christian has been a driving force for the investigation team, whose dedication and meticulous efforts have brought us to where we are today.
“Their work, supported by Salford Council, the Crown Prosecution Service and other partner agencies, has made bringing these dangerous men to justice possible.
“I cannot stress enough how positive a result these convictions are for the people of Salford, whose daily lives will have been impacted by the criminal activities of the notorious organised crime group known as the A-Team.
“I hope the sentences imposed on them will send a clear message that, no matter who you are, if you are involved in organised crime, we will pursue you and do all we can to put a stop to you criminal activities.”
The following men where sentenced today at Manchester Crown court
In relation to the shooting outside the carwash in Ashton-in-Makerfield
Jacob Harrison (26/11/1992) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause GBH and was sentenced to 14 years in prsion.
John Kent (05/12/1964) was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 14 years and six months in prison.
In relation to the shooting of Christian and Jayne Hickey
Carne Thomasson (26/03/1990) was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, with an extended licence period of five years.
Christopher Hall (08/10/1969) was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 14 years and six months in prison, with an extende licence period of four years.
Aldaire Warmington (26/08/1986) was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
James Coward (28/03/1996) was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and sentenced to two years in prison.
Dominic Walton (10/04/92) was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and sentenced to two years in prison.
Lincoln Warmington (26/08/86) was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and sentenced to two years and three months in prison.