Three men are facing long jail sentences over a botched gangland hit in which a seven-year-old boy and his mother were shot on their doorstep.
Christian Hickey Jr and his mother, Jayne, were blasted in the legs with a pistol as they answered the door to their house in Winton, Salford.
The schoolboy and his mother were at home with the youngster’s father, Chris Hickey Sr, watching football when they heard a knock on the window shortly before 9.25pm on 12 October 2015.
“It’s the postman mummy,” said the seven-year-old, as he and his mother went to answer the door. A man standing at the end of the drive shouted: “Is your husband in?”, to which Jayne Hickey replied “one sec”, and then heard the man say something like “nah nah”, jurors were told.
A gunman then appeared from the shadows and opened fire. He continued shooting even as Hickey slammed the door, seriously injuring both mother and son.
They were the victims of a bungled hit. The real target was her husband and the attack was retribution for the murder of Paul Massey, the one-time Salford crime boss who was shot with an Uzi submachine gun outside his home three months earlier.
Hickey Sr was a friend of the alleged gang leader Michael Carroll, who had been part of a group known as the A-Team before a deadly feud split the gang into rival camps. The split, believed to trace back to 2014, triggered a series of gun, grenade and machete attacks on the streets of Salford in a quarrel that continues to this day.
A-Team graffiti remains on walls and apartment blocks in the Irlam area, three miles north-west of Manchester city centre, and during the trial shots were fired through the front door of a home in Salford in an attack linked to the warring gangs.
The jury on Thursday convicted six alleged members of the A-Team for their involvement in the shooting of the Hickeys after a two-month trial.
Carne Thomasson, 28, Christopher Hall, 49, and Aldaire Warmington, 32, were each cleared of a count of conspiracy to murder but were convicted of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
John Thomasson, 49, was cleared of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, and perverting the course of justice.
James Coward, 22, Dominic Walton, 26, and Lincoln Warmington, 32, were each convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by getting rid of the stolen Audi S3 car used in the attack.
Two other men, John Kent, 54, and Jacob Harrison, 26, were convicted of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent for involvement in an earlier shooting of a rival by the same gang.
Kent’s daughter in the public gallery burst into tears as the jury foreman delivered the verdicts after nine hours and 36 minutes of deliberations. While the eight men in the dock all protested their innocence, none broke the gangland code of silence and “grassed” on the others.
Hall said through his barrister there was “genuine fear” and his family would be at risk if he spoke out.
Hall, who was previously convicted of carrying the Heckler & Koch P7 self-loading pistol that was used to shoot the Hickeys, chose not to give evidence in the case so as not to implicate his fellow defendants. His barrister, Nick Johnson QC, told the jury: “Thou shalt not grass is a dreadful feature of this case.”
All of the men will be sentenced by the judge, Mr Justice Popplewell, at a date yet to be fixed.