car with bullet holes

The gunman approached the car the victim was travelling in and fired several shots

A criminal from Merseyside has been jailed for 24 years after being found guilty of involvement in the shooting of a rival gang member on a petrol forecourt, conspiracy to sell prohibited weapons and playing a significant role in the supply of large quantities of Class A and B drugs.

John Lewis, aged 23, of Home Farm Road, Woodchurch, was found guilty of conspiracy to sell weapons at a trial at Liverpool Crown Court and was sentenced on Thursday 28 September.

He was also found guilty of conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

Lewis was also sentenced for another offence involving a shooting at the Shell garage on Borough Road, Birkenhead on November 26, 2019 for which he received 16 years, bringing his total to 24 years. He was additionally ordered to serve a further five years on licence after being determined to be a dangerous offender.

The victim of the shooting was a passenger in a Ford Fiesta when they were followed on to the forecourt of the Shell garage by four people on two motorbikes.

One of the pillions passengers walked up to the car and shot several times with a 9mm self-loading pistol, resulting in the victim needing hospital treatment for three gunshot wounds.

Lewis was subsequently identified as being the rider of one of the motorbikes.

Following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court in June 2022, Lewis was found guilty of Section 18 wounding, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a certificate.

The shooting was believed to be related to a long-running dispute between members of organised crime gangs from the Woodchurch and Beechwood/Ford estates.

On sentencing His Honour Judge Driver KC said: “This was a very serious crime in which you were fully engaged from beginning to end. I am in no doubt at all that you are a dangerous offender. Nothing less than an extended determinate sentence would be sufficient to protect the public from that risk.”