'Hit men' jailed for killing woman shot by mistake


Two men have been told they will serve at least 31 years in prison after gunning down a 30-year-old mother.

Hayley Pointon was not the intended target of a "hit" when she was shot dead in Hinckley in February 2013.

Aaron Power and Aaron Newman both denied murdering Ms Pointon but were found guilty by a jury at Leicester Crown Court on Friday.

Today the judge Mr Justice King sentenced the pair to life imprisonment.

He said: "The scars you have inflicted on each family member will be long lasting."

The pair showed no emotion as they were sent down.

Mr Justice King added: "This was in truth a calculated, cold-blooded murder. This was a planned killing and each of you were part of that plan.

"It may never be known who fired the shot but what is sure is each of you were involved in the killing and each had an intention to kill.

"No words of mine can express the depth of the relatives' grief for the loss you have caused at taking her life away at such a young age."

He added that neither had shown any remorse.

Leicester Crown Court heard Ms Pointon leaves two young children, Lacey and Reeghan, who were seven and three at the time of the shooting.

Reading from a victim impact statement, James House QC said: "The moment the gun was fired, their lives changed forever."

He added the investigation has taken a "huge toll" on the family.

Mitigating, Joel Bennathan QC asked the judge to take in to account Power's age when sentencing, while Philip Bown said Newman had shown a "degree of naivety".

CCTV footage, mobile phone records and two vehicles linked 25-year-old Power, originally from Coventry, and 24-year-old Newman, of Attoxhall Road, Coventry, to the offence.

The bullet was intended for Ms Pointon's boyfriend Nigel Barwell, the court heard.

Ms Pointon's mother, Kerry Pointon, said: "It has been a soul-destroying two and a half years since Hayley's death. This verdict, although the one we needed and Hayley deserves, is now only the start to us rebuilding our shattered lives without Hayley there."