A Wigan man has been jailed for life for his part in a notorious gangland killing.
A judge told Troy Beckford that he must serve at least 31 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole after he was found guilty of murdering Kieran McGrath in Manchester two years ago.
The 24-year-old of Lowerfields Gardens, Golborne, played a key role in the crime, orchestrating surveillance on the victim before he was gunned down in a pub car park. Beckford is one of four men convicted of the 26-year-old’s murder.
Two trials at Manchester Crown Court heard that the crime was rooted in a bitter two-year feud between Kieran and 32-year-old Anthony Henry from Miles Platting.
The feud came to a head on the evening of Saturday October 4 2014, after Henry had conspired with Beckford to murder him, bringing in Jace Smith and Remi Adams to carry out the fatal shooting.
Beckford had hidden a tracking device on Kieran’s Audi A3 car which led the hitmen to him outside the Sheldon Arms on Manchester Road, Ashton-under-Lyne.
He was getting into his car when the pillion rider on the motorbike which had lain in wait for him opened fire. The mortally wounded victim immediately drove to Ashton police station where two off-duty officers found him and dialled 999, but paramedics were unable to save him.
The hearing was told that on the day before the shooting, the plotters carried out a practice run which involved two men on a red motorcycle driving past Kieran’s close friend’s house a total of six times.
Throughout the day Henry, Smith, Beckford and Adams were in constant communication and Kieran’s movements were being closely monitored.
And on the day of the murder Beckford bought two handsets which would be used exclusively for the relaying of Kieran’s location between Beckford, Henry, Adams and Smith.
Henry must serve a minimum of 33 years; Smith, 31, from Blackley, must serve at least 30 years. Adams, 34, of Whitefield, who was convicted after a retrial yesterday, was due to be sentenced today.
Bretony Gallimore, 25, from Crumpsall, was jailed for three years after being convicted of assisting an offender.
After the hearing Det Chief Insp Terry Crompton said: “Anthony Henry is a man who had a simmering need for revenge but wasn’t brave enough to act himself.
“Henry was adamant that he wanted to end Kieran’s life, but he was not willing to carry out the attack himself and instead looked to distance himself by use of the trackers and the inclusion of others into the plot.
“As a result, this was an investigation of incredible complexity due to the sheer volume of telephone and tracking data that our officers had to sift through to achieve this successful conviction.
“In fact, I quite early on dubbed this the ‘digital investigation’, due to just how instrumental the data footprint left by Henry and his co-conspirators was in building the case against them.”