Gangsters behind Wigan car wash shooting get 28 years behind bars

Two men who orchestrated a terrifying drive-by shooting at a busy Wigan car wash have both been jailed for 28 and a half years combined.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:29 pm
The scene back in March 2015
The scene back in March 2015

Last month, John Kent, 56, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice relating to the 2015 shooting at Express Car Wash on Bolton Road in Ashton.

Jacob Harrison, 26, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause GBH.

At a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court today (Friday) Kent has been jailed for 14 and a half years and Harrison has been jailed for 14 years.

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The scene back in March 2015

During the seven and a half week trial, the court heard how at around 5.15pm on March 30, 2015, an unknown gunman fired five shots across a busy road in peak time traffic, into the forecourt of the hand car wash.

Mr Rothwell, who was picking up his car after a service, was hit three times in the abdomen, groin and wrist, but was not killed.

The incident, the jurors heard, was part of a huge gangland war between members of Salford’s notorious “A Team” and a rival faction, which began after an argument between members in 2014.

Harrison and Kent, who were involved in the organisation of the shooting but did not pull the trigger, targeted the victim due to his relationship with the splinter group leader Michael Carroll.

Investigators concluded that Kent, whose daughter has a child with high level “A Team” member, Aldaire Warmington, had driven around to “spot” the victim before the shooting took place.

CCTV footage captured Kent’s Peugeot van driving past the garage on the day of the shooting when Mr Rothwell was waiting to be picked up by a friend after dropping off his car.

The video also picked up the Seat Ibiza which “immediately followed” behind. In the hours before the shooting there were “numerous sightings” of both vehicles driving up and down

Bolton Road, scoping out Rothwell’s position.

At an earlier hearing, senior investigating officers said that there was a “clear connection” between the two vehicles.

During the shooting, the same CCTV footage clearly showed the passenger of the Seat Ibiza leaning over the top of the car as the shots were fired at Mr Rothwell.

Police initially arrested Kent, who was living in Ashton at the time, the next day. He was in his van when he was apprehended.

Despite questioning him on four separate occasions, Kent was not arrested until June 2018.

On the second occasion he prepared a brief statement saying that he was present in Ashton on the day of the shooting.

Harrison was forensically linked to the Seat Ibiza.

The gun was later found and determined to be the same used in the Hickeys shooting.

Following the trial, which included the shooting of Jane Hickey and her young son, four men were also found guilty of conspiracy to commit GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, while three have been found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

They will also face sentencing today.