A man who pressured his 14-year-old son to take the blame for a murder he committed has been jailed for at least 26 years.
Matthew Moseley, 50, shot Lee Holt, 32, dead before he handed the gun to his son and instructed him to tell police he was the one who pulled the trigger outside their Lancashire home.
After the incident in October, 14-year-old Thomas subsequently made a false confession to the police, but he later changed his account of the incident in Barnard Close, Oswaldtwistle, and told police that his father was in fact the shooter.
He told officers: “I thought I was covering my dad’s arse. Sticking up for him.
“He is my dad. I love him to bits but you would think he would take responsibility for what he has done and not let his son take the blame for him.”
Moseley claimed the shooting was an accident after he grabbed the semi-automatic Beretta weapon from his son to try to lift it upwards and the gun “just went off”.
Holt had gone to Barnard Close with his partner, Kate Phelan, 34, and her 15-year-son, Wesley Metcalfe, to confront Thomas over an ongoing dispute between the schoolboys.
Witnesses said Ms Phelan banged on the front windows and Mr Holt kicked the front door as they shouted for the Moseleys to come out.
Thomas Moseley said he then saw his father – a keen clay pigeon shooter – bend down on one knee and take out one of his licensed guns from a cabinet next to the porch and load it with three cartridges.
His father told him to ring the police, he said, and 11 seconds into the 999 call Mr Holt was shot once in the chest and died in hospital later the same evening.
In a covert recording of a prison van conversation, Matthew Moseley can be heard telling his son: “You are a minor. You can’t go to any jail.
“Self defence for you and you didn’t know what you were doing. Me, different ball game. And that is the way we have got to go with this.”
Giving evidence in the three-week trial, Matthew Moseley denied he had asked his son to say anything on his his behalf, but was last week found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court.
On Tuesday at the same court he was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 26 years.