Duo jailed for
shotgun blast murder bid

Police investigate an attempted murder.
Police investigate an attempted murder.

A man who peppered a rival with more than 100 shotgun pellets has been jailed for 25 years after being convicted of conspiracy to murder.

A second man, who was recruited to take part in the murder plot, has also been jailed for 18 years.

Mark Walsh, 36, was shot at short range with a 12-bore sawn-off shotgun in the attack by balaclava-clad Donovan Wallace in an alley behind his home in Maudlsey Street, Accrington.

But despite suffering wounds to his head, neck and arms, Mr Walsh survived the attack on January 12 this year.

Wallace, 27, of Lodge Lane, Lytham, denied conspiracy to murder during a four-week trial at Preston Crown Court.

Jack Wilding, 20, of no fixed address, said he had gone to the scene of the shooting and kicked the back gate of the property to attract Mr Walsh’s attention, but had then run away from the scene.

However the jury found both men to be guilty of conspiracy to murder.

They failed to reach a verdict on a third man, Kevin King, 30, of Lodge Lane, Lytham, who was alleged to have been part of the conspiracy to murder Mr Walsh.

The prosecution said it was clear there was ill-feeling
between Mr Walsh and his attackers.

Judge Anthony Russell QC, sentencing, said: “There is a background to this case that has perhaps not been revealed.”

However he said Wallace had a ‘sinister’ side to his character and had used Wilding to ‘do his dirty work’ to carry out acts of criminal damage in the months leading up to the attack.

Wilding, he said was “easily-led” and had committed the offences because he had fallen into bad company, naively looking up to his two codefendants as role models.

In a victim impact statement, the court heard Mr Walsh has been left with permanent hearing loss,
although has been assisted by the use of hearing aids to both ears.

He is now unable to work and is registered disabled as a result of the shooting.