Footage has emerged of Ashley Dale attending the wake of a friend who took his gain existence – alongside the boys who are alleged to have killed her in her dwelling objective days later.
Knowsley Council employee Ashley, 28, was shot in the abdomen when gunman James Witham, 41, kicked down the door of her dwelling in Old Swan, on August 21 last year, Liverpool Crown Court was told. Witham has admitted manslaughter but he and four other men – Niall Barry, 26, Sean Zeisz, 28, Ian Fitzgibbon, 28, Joseph Peers, 29 – say Ashley’s demolish.
The clip shows Ashley chatting with friends at the bar after she entered Ten Streets Social in Liverpool following the funeral of Rikki Warnick on August 10, 2022, who killed himself on July 21.
Prosecutor Paul Greaney KC said Mr Warnick’s death was a ‘strain point’ in the feud between Ashley’s partner Lee Harrison and the team of men accused of killing her, Liverpool Echo reports.
The jury heard messages to her friend Mol on August 1, for the duration of which Ashley said: ‘I produce no longer want to have to trail to Lee’s funeral subsequent and I objective have a bad, bad feeling about every part. Me nerves are gone, when am out in the car with Lee objective feeling like I am looking over me shoulder all the time.’
The jury was shown footage of Ashley, and a few of the defendants, in attendance at the wake for Rikki Warnick, who had died earlier that year
Ashley Dale, 28, (pictured) was hit in the abdomen by a bullet when gunman James Witham, 41, invaded her dwelling on August 21 last year
In train notes played to the court, Ashley told another friend she had asked Mr Harrison to be ‘apt about every part’ so she may prepare for ‘the worst’.
She added: ‘I produce no longer normally want to grasp but I want to grasp what’s going to happen.’
The court was told that on the day of Mr Warnick’s wake, Ashley went alone whereas her boyfriend Lee Harrison stayed away amid ongoing stress with Barry, Witham, and their associates.
She texted him: ‘Genuine obtained in here now all rats objective sat together in the smoking bit. I don’t mediate you may approach I’d rather no longer be here at the same time as you happen to’re going to a pub I’ll approach and meet u no longer staying here. Really feel dead bad that you’re no longer here and I am.’
Witham accepts opening hearth with a Skorpion sub-machine gun and capturing the bullet that killed Ashley, but will claim he didn’t gawk or hear victim and was looking to ‘ship a message’ to her partner Lee Harrison, who was no longer at dwelling.
He has pleaded responsible to manslaughter but denies demolish.
Witham and a second man, Joseph Peers, have been allegedly ‘dispatched’ to assassinate Harrison, 25, by three men – Niall Barry, Sean Zeisz and Ian Fitzgibbon – who have been directing the hit from a flat in Huyton, the prosecution says.
Jurors have been earlier shown bodycam footage of police arresting Ashley’s suspected killers at Glastonbury in June of that year after finding a flick knife, which the gangsters allegedly threatened to stab her boyfriend in a feud.
The clip confirmed the arrest of Witham on June 25 in Pilton, near the station of Glastonbury.
Niall Barry, who denies organising the demolish of Ashley Dale, being detained by police in Somerset on his way to Glastonbury festival on June 25, 2022
Earlier Paul Greaney, KC, prosecuting, described how Witham and Barry had been travelling to the festival station in a taxi after they have been pulled over by Avon and Somerset Police.
Mr Greaney said: ‘It appears that whereas attending Glastonbury, Niall Barry stayed at a pub with rooms no longer far from where the festival was taking place.
‘The pub was called the Pig and Wheel and he stayed there with five others, including James Witham, the man who shot and killed Ashley.
‘On the morning of Saturday twenty fifth June, Niall Barry and James Witham have been in a taxi, travelling from the Pig and Wheel towards the festival.
‘Uniformed officers stopped the car they have been in. Within the rear of the taxi, along with Niall Barry and James Witham, was a holdall.
‘Officers searched the holdall and, within it, they discovered a passport in the name of Niall Warner. Warner is the surname of Niall Barry’s father.
‘So, in other phrases, the officers had discovered Branch’s passport in the holdall. Within the bag, they also discovered a knife.’
The prosecution began introducing evidence to the jury, including the clip of the arrest from a PC James Whatley.
The footage shows Witham, who is wearing a blue two tone jacket, a blue cap, and carrying a man bag, being searched by officers.
PC Whatley then begins searching a blue holdall discovered in the back of the taxi. Wearing blue disposable latex gloves, he is seen flicking thru a passport in the name of Niall Warner. The jury has heard Warner is the surname of Barry’s dad.
PC Whatley then picks up a black handled flick knife, urgent a button on the facet to release the three hasten blade. He says: ‘Oh whats up, Mr Niall’. A colleague adds: ‘That’ll finish, that’ll approach in.’
Paul Greaney KC said: ‘When Ashley Dale saw James Witham, she screamed, she shouted ‘glean the f*** out’ and she attempted to race for her existence’
Ms Dale’s sister (left), her mother Julie Dale (centre) and stepfather Rob Jones (suitable) arriving at Liverpool Crown Court for the trial of Ian Fitzgibbon, Niall Barry, Sean Zeisz, Joseph Peers and James Witham on October 2
PC Whatley then approaches Barry, who is sat in handcuffs on the back seat of a police car, and tells him ‘you may be arrested on suspicion of possession of that’, earlier than waving the knife in entrance of him.
Barry responds: ‘That’s no longer my bag, that’s what I was saying to him earlier than my passport is in his [Witham’s] bag.’
Witham, who is standing near the entrance of the car in handcuffs speaking to another officer, shouts over that the bag is certainly his. He also tells the officer there is ketamine in the bag.
PC Whatley tells Witham: ‘I am going to arrest you then on possession of this [the knife]’. He reads Witham his rights, who said: ‘Ah I didn’t understand it was even in there.’
So far, the jury has heard messages and train notes despatched by Ashley to her friends for the duration of which she describes Barry producing a knife at the Glastonbury festival and threatening to stab her boyfriend Harrison, identified by his nickname ‘Saz’.
For the duration of his opening, Mr Greaney told the jury: ‘The prosecution counsel that what this finding by the local police demonstrates is that whereas at the Glastonbury Festival, Niall Barry had access to a knife.
‘In turn, that affords reinforce for the document, made by Ashley in her message to Sophie on 3rd July, that whereas at Glastonbury, Niall Barry had produced a gigantic knife to Ian Fitzgibbon and said, ‘where’s Saz, he’s getting stabbed up’.
According to messages between Ashley and her friends, Barry and Harrison had ‘heavy beef’ going back around three years when Barry was robbed by a team identified as the Hillsiders.
Harrison was friends with members of the team, including a Jordan Thompson, aka Dusty, who allegedly attacked Barry’s friend Zeisz, also at some point of Glastonbury festival.
Niall Barry, 26, (pictured) was arrested at a resort in Formby with a bag of cash and his passport, aspiring to fly the country, Paul Greaney KC, prosecuting, said
Sean Zeisz, 28, (pictured) is one of many five defendants exasperated about the demolish trial
The prosecution has claimed the attack at Glastonbury festival ‘reignited’ the feud between Barry and Harrison.
Barry is alleged to have threatened Harrison in the weeks earlier than the capturing, and Ashley described her ‘terrifying anxiety’ that one thing ‘bad’ was going to happen between the 2 men.
Witham, of Ashbury Road in Huyton; Zeisz, of Longreach Road in Huyton; Barry, of Moscow Force in Tuebrook; Peers, of Woodlands Road in Roby; and Fitzgibbon, of Heigham Gardens in St Helens, have pleaded no longer responsible to murdering Ashley Dale, conspiracy to demolish Harrison and conspiracy to absorb a prohibited weapon, namely a Skorpion submachine gun, and ammunition with intent to endanger existence. Witham has admitted the lesser charge of manslaughter.
A sixth man – 25-year-frail Kallum Radford, of Trentham Road in Kirkby – denies assisting an offender. The trial, earlier than Mr Justice Goose, continues and is scheduled to last for six to eight weeks.