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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Four jailed for gang war killing
Liam Smith
Liam Smith was visiting a friend in prison when he was shot
Four people have been jailed for their role in killing 19-year-old gang leader Liam Smith, who was shot in the head in a revenge attack outside a prison.

Ryan Lloyd - who ordered the shooting - Thomas Forshaw, 18, and a 16-year-old youth, all from Croxteth, Liverpool, were convicted of murder last month.

Liam Duffy, 26, also of Croxteth, was convicted of manslaughter.

Mr Smith was shot dead after visiting a friend at HMP Altcourse in Fazakerley, Liverpool, on 23 August 2006.

Lloyd, 20 - who was an inmate at the jail when he organised the murder - was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years.

Forshaw was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years and a 16-year-old with an IQ of 71 who cannot be named, to 18 years.

Duffy was sentenced to 20 years for manslaughter of which he will serve 10 years.

Lloyd is believed to have used a contraband mobile phone to marshal as many as 20 gang members to ambush Smith as he left the prison after visiting a friend.

Liam Duffy, Thomas Forshaw and Ryan Lloyd
The sort of funeral he had glamorised gang behaviour
Mr Justice Saunders

Smith was alleged to have been involved in a dispute with Lloyd inside the jail's visitors' hall.

The bust up prompted Lloyd to plot the revenge attack.

The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, said: "Liam Smith was killed because he was a member of the Strand gang and was hated by members of the Croxteth Crew.

"A previous attempt on his life, by shooting, had been foiled but police had no chance of arresting the perpetrators of that offence because Liam Smith did not report it, preferring to sort it out his own way.

"A similar attitude was demonstrated by members of the Strand gang who gave evidence in this case.

"They showed complete contempt for the legal process and their friend."

But Lloyd's death had failed to act as a warning against gang warfare, he added.

Tackling gun crime

"A senior police officer in this case suggested the sort of funeral he had glamorised gang behaviour he was involved in and attracted more young people to join," Mr Justice Saunders said.

"But there is nothing glamorous in this sort of gang - you are more likely to end up dead or serving a long prison sentence."

During the trial, Ch Supt Andy Ward, of Merseyside Police, addressed the court to outline the impact that the gangs had on the local community.

Speaking afterwards, he told BBC News: "These are isolated incidents that we have been talking about for some time, but have a massive impact on people's confidence and feelings of safety within those communities."

The police chief said he was "absolutely delighted" with the sentences handed out to Lloyd and his crew.

"We have got a clear message for people and hopefully these sentences will support that. There is no place for people carrying firearms on the streets of Britain.

"We need to work together to make sure we take these weapons off the streets."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Images of gang members were posted on Youtube



SEE ALSO
Three teenagers guilty of murder
24 Aug 07 |  Merseyside
Funeral for murdered jail visitor
25 Sep 06 |  Merseyside
Two released over jail gun death
26 Aug 06 |  Merseyside
Teenager shot dead outside jail
24 Aug 06 |  Merseyside

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