Hitman Mark Fellows has been sentenced to a whole-life jail term at Liverpool Crown Court for the murders of gangland “Mr Big” Paul Massey and mob enforcer John Kinsella.
Fellows was convicted on Wednesday for the murder of Massey during a deadly feud involving rival crime gangs in Salford. The feud escalated after the father-of-five and grandfather was killed outside his home by a spray of bullets from an Uzi sub-machine gun in 2015.
Two years later, another member of Manchester’s underworld, Kinsella, was gunned down while walking his dogs with his pregnant wife.
Fellow defendant Steven Boyle was found guilty of the murder of Kinsella, but not guilty of the murder of Massey. He will be sentenced later today.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said earlier in the week a whole-life term for Fellows was required given the double murder involved firearms and a substantial degree of planning.
Nick Johnson QC, defending Fellows, asked for “mercy” as the defendant is a father of two who faced dying in jail.
Both men were found not guilty of the attempted murder of Kinsella’s partner, Wendy Owen.
Massey, 55, was a well-known figure in his home city of Salford and had been involved with security firms operating in Manchester and beyond.
Massey was first dubbed “Mr Big” by the late Salford councillor Joe Burrows at a town hall meeting to discuss civil disturbances in 1992, and he was jailed seven years later for stabbing a man in the groin.
During the trial, prosecutor Paul Greaney QC described the gang links of both the murdered men, saying: “They were friends and associates.
“Moreover, each was well known, if not notorious, within the gangland of the north-west, and both men undoubtedly had enemies.
“Their undoing has to do with events in the city of Salford, where serious violence broke out between two criminal gangs in 2015.”
At around 7.30pm on July 26, 2015, Massey parked his BMW outside his home in Clifton, Salford, and walked up the driveway. A gunman was lying in wait, killing him with a hail of bullets fired from an Uzi sub-machine gun before fleeing. Massey died at the scene.
Almost three years later and with the £50,000 reward still unclaimed, Kinsella set out on his usual morning walk with his partner, Owen, and their dogs from their home in Rainhill, St Helens.
Speaking from behind a curtain to protect her identity, Owen later testified in court that a “stone faced” cyclist “staring straight ahead” blasted Kinsella twice in the back with a handgun.
He fell face down as Owen “charged” at him but the gunman then turned the weapon on her, shooting. He missed and she fled.
The cyclist then calmly rode over to where Kinsella lay dying and shot him twice in the back of the head.
According to the prosecution, it was the “clear parallels” between the murders of both men that led to the arrests of Fellows and Boyle – in addition to a GPS-enabled fitness device.
Police investigating the Kinsella murder seized a Garmin Forerunner watch belonging to Fellows.
This type of watch, worn by keen runners and cyclists, has a GPS function enabling routes to be recorded, along with other information such as pace and distance.
Analysis by detectives showed a few months before the murder of Massey, Fellows had travelled from his home to the area behind a church in which the killer lay in wait for his victim on July 26 2015.
It showed Fellows on a “reconnaissance run” for the planned gangland hit, almost three years after the first murder.
The jury heard CCTV evidence showed Fellows had cycled from the area of his home in Warrington and further evidence suggested Boyle had acted as a “spotter” who positioned his Renault Clio so he could see Kinsella and Owen approaching.
He added said: “Unlike three years earlier, on this occasion, the killer was undone.”