Three men guilty of the murder of Liverpool teenager Lewis Dunne

22/11/2016

Three men have been jailed for life for killing a teenager on a canal towpath in Liverpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Jake Culshaw, 25, John Martin, 20 and Paul Martin, 26, murdered sixteen year old Lewis Dunne on 15 November 2015.

A jury returned guilty verdicts on all three men. Culshaw and Paul Martin were sentenced to 30 years in jail. John Martin was sentenced to 28 years in jail.

Lewis's body was discovered by a passer-by at 10.36pm on the canal towpath which runs through the Eldonian Village in Kirkdale.

Paramedics were called and several attempts were made to resuscitate him both at the scene and at hospital but he died shortly after.

An examination showed he'd been shot in the back by a cartridge containing pellets, fired from a shotgun. The shotgun was later found abandoned in the canal.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that Lewis Dunne was an innocent victim of an on-going battle between two local street gangs that had begun earlier in the day.

He'd been making his way alone on the tow path towards the Eldonian Way Bridge to meet a friend and borrow his mountain bike to go to the shop.

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 on-going 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 Culshaw and John and Paul Martin have been convicted of his murder. The search to bring to justice the fourth man seen on the CCTV on that dreadful 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."