Five people sentenced after rapper robbed and murdered on Liverpool street
Five people have been sentenced after a rapper was robbed and murdered on a Liverpool street.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that the men staged an armed robbery in Netherton in Liverpool on the evening of 7 June 2018.
Miguel Reynolds, 21, a rapper from Manchester, had been driven over to Liverpool to buy a stolen car for £2,000. He was told that the people selling the car would meet him at garages opposite Marie Curie Avenue.
When he got there, a gang of men met him. Liam Watson pulled a gun and demanded that Mr. Reynolds hand over the money. There was no car for sale.
Mr. Reynolds did and got back into the car. But he then made a decision to try and get the money back and jumped out of the car and chased after them, armed with a knife.
He got as far as Henry Hickman Close and was shot. The fatal second shot was fired in gardens in Assissian Crescent at around 8pm. Miguel Reynolds died at the scene.
The gang dispersed and started to make plans for a cover up.
The CPS said that CCTV and phone evidence showed the gang gathering and planning for the armed robbery in the hours leading up to it.
It was the Crown Prosecution Service’s case that this was a joint enterprise robbery and killing - one person may have pulled the trigger but others knew what was planned and had taken part.
Following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury returned the verdicts below and today, 4 May 2021, they were sentenced.
Liam Watson, 31, of Litherland Park: Guilty of Murder, Conspiracy to rob, Conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm and Conspiracy to possess ammunition. Jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 30 years before he can be considered for release.
Kyle Sanders, 21, of Charles Best Green: Guilty of Manslaughter, Conspiracy to rob, Conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm and Conspiracy to possess ammunition. Jailed for 21 years.
Joseph McKeever, 29, of Howard Florey Avenue: Guilty of Conspiracy to rob, Conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm and Conspiracy to possess ammunition. Not guilty of murder. Jailed for 12 years and 6 months.
Dale Avery, 25, of Marie Curie Avenue, Netherton Guilty of Conspiracy to rob, Conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm and Conspiracy to possess ammunition. Not guilty of murder. Sentenced to 14 years and 6 months. He must serve 11 years and 6 months in jail and three years out on extended licence.
Emma Kirby, 21, of Marie Curie Avenue: Guilty of assisting an offender. She disposed of evidence, a bike belonging to Dale Avery following the murder. She was given a 20-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and she must do 15 days of a rehabilitation activity.
Paul Blackhurst, James Harrison and Jake Mawhinney were acquitted of all charges.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Maria Corr of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “The events of that day, a robbery and murder in broad daylight in a residential area are truly shocking. These men would stop at nothing to get at the money Miguel Reynolds had brought with him to buy a car - a car that never existed.
“Liam Watson pulled the trigger on a loaded firearm but Kyle Sanders played a crucial part in the killing. The others played their part in getting the gun and the ammunition and then in the robbery itself.
“Men like these bring violence and danger to our streets and the CPS will work with the police to bring them to justice.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to offer condolences to the family of Mr Reynolds who have had to travel daily from Manchester during the trial. I would also like to thank the members of the public who have helped us with this prosecution.”
Ms Corr added: “This has been a complex and difficult case. It was one of the first trials to be abandoned after the first Covid-19 lockdown, which happened as the jury were out deliberating.
“A retrial began in January this year. The challenges of mounting this prosecution with eight defendants in custody, two court rooms in use to ensure social distancing and the amount of technology needed to progress the trial under the current restrictions, has been an epic journey. But thankfully, the case has come to a conclusion and the men convicted following the events of that day are beginning substantial sentences."