Two jailed for shooting dead boy on motorbike in Huyton

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Dylan Westall and Michael RobertsImage source, Merseyside Police
Image caption,
Dylan Westall and Michael Roberts were jailed for life

Two men have been jailed for killing a teenager who was shot in the head while on a motorbike.

James Meadows, 17, was a pillion passenger on the bike in Huyton, Merseyside, when he was shot in 2017.

Dylan Westall, 29, and Michael Roberts, 25, who had both denied manslaughter, were given life sentences at Liverpool Crown Court.

Westall was ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years while Roberts was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years.

The pair were also convicted of conspiring to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
James Meadows's family say they are "heartbroken" by the death of a "much-loved" family member

Westall, of no fixed address but formally of Whiston, was sentenced to 14 years in jail for that offence as well 14 years for assault and false imprisonment in relation to a separate case - both to run concurrently.

Roberts, of Huyton, was given a 12-year jail term for conspiring to possess firearms with intent to endanger life - also to run concurrently.

Westall's partner Samantha McDermott, 31, of Whiston, admitted perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Image source, Merseyside Police
Image caption,
Westall's girlfriend Samantha McDermott pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice

In a statement, James's grandmother Teresa Meadows said after the sentencing it was difficult to put into words how the last two years had been.

"Traumatic, devastating and heartbroken are [a] few words but don't come close to the raw and daily pain of loss we suffer.

"He was a much-loved member of a close and united family and he always found a way to make us laugh."

Of his killers, she said in "a matter of seconds they ruined a young life and devastated a family".

She said the family felt it had "finally gained some justice for our beloved James" but "no amount of time would be long enough as so many lives have been ruined and we can never get James back".

Det Ch Insp Ian Warlow said: "Criminals involved in gun crime have no regard for anyone else and unfortunately James Meadows paid the ultimate price for the reckless actions of others."

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