Three jailed over botched gangland shooting that left boy and mother injured
Three men are starting long jail sentences over a botched gangland hit in which a seven-year-old boy and his mother were shot on their own doorstep.
Christian Hickey Jr and his mother Jayne were blasted in the legs after they answered the door to their house in Winton, Salford, Greater Manchester, in October 2015.
Both were left seriously injured in a pool of blood in the hallway of their home, one bullet passing through Mrs Hickey’s leg into her son’s as he stood behind her.
Both underwent multiple operations, suffered serious physical and psychological damage and, Manchester Crown Court heard, the boy has recurring nightmares of the attack.
They were victims of a major Salford organised crime gang known as the A-Team, involved in drugs, violence and extortion.
Eight men were convicted last month by a jury after an eight-week trial over the Hickey shooting and another gang-related attack.
Passing sentence Mr Justice Popplewell said: “The bullet which hit Christian Hickey caused an open fracture of his left mid shaft femur.
“He was hospitalised for over a month and required three operations in hospital. On release he was in a wheelchair and unable to walk… he had to undergo further operations over a period of months and extensive physiotherapy in order to be able to walk again, which took about 12 months.
“The psychological effect of the incident has also been serious and lasting. Christian suffers recurring nightmares.
“In short, Christian has been robbed of a normal childhood. There is no hyperbole in Jayne Hickey’s statement that their lives were torn apart and will never be the same again.”
Carne Thomasson, 29, a £5,000-a-week drug dealer, knocked on the Hickeys’ door to “flush out” Christian Hickey senior, the intended target. Thomasson was jailed for 23 years.
Aldaire Warmington, 32, a senior member of the A-Team and a major drug dealer, who had a supervisory role in the attack, was jailed for 20 years.
Christopher Hall, the gang’s armourer, was jailed for 14 years and six months.
They were convicted of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
James Coward, 22, Dominic Walton, 27, and Lincoln Warmington, 32, were convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by getting rid of the stolen car used in the attack.
Coward and Walton were each jailed for two years and Warmington for two years and three months.
Coward and Walton’s sentences will begin after they have finished earlier terms for separate knife attacks in nightclubs in Manchester.
Two other men, John Kent, 54, and Jacob Harrison, 26, were involved in an earlier shooting of another gang rival.
Kent was convicted of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent and perverting the course of justice and jailed for 14 years and six months.
Harrison, who drove the getaway car for the shooting, was jailed for 14 years.
Tearful family members of the gang left court after the sentencing as the judge praised detectives from Greater Manchester Police who brought them to justice.
The attack on the Hickeys was a revenge mission for the “execution” three months earlier of Salford “Mr Big” Paul Massey, who was also gunned down on his doorstep, with a machine gun used by a splinter faction of the gang.
Christian and his mother were shot at around 9.25pm on October 12 2015, during a gang war on the city’s streets which led to 132 “threats to life” warnings issued by police in Salford.
Mr Hickey, once jailed for manslaughter, was friends with Michael Carroll, who, the court heard, had been part of the A-Team, but a deadly feud developed between him and the gang’s alleged boss Stephen Britton, splitting the group into rival camps, leading to a series of gun, grenade and machete attacks.
After the murder in July 2015 of Massey, 55 – a “mentor” to Britton – the A-Team took revenge.
The Hickeys were expecting their daughter returning from a swimming lesson when Mrs Hickey answered the door to find Thomasson asking: “Is your husband in?”
She replied: “One sec,” and went to close the door but a second man appeared from behind her husband’s van and opened fire.
Thomasson and the gunman, who has not been identified, fled in a stolen Audi S3 with false plates.
The same gun had been used in March 2017 to shoot Jamie Rothwell, another member of the rival Carroll gang, at a car wash near Wigan.
The gunman in either shooting has not been identified.
Christian Hickey jnr is still undergoing treatment for his injuries.