Man, 21, jailed for gangland murder

Murder victim Jason Osu
Murder victim Jason Osu
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A St Helens man has been jailed for life for murdering trained pilot Jason Osu and attempting to kill another man amid a gangland feud.

Taxi driver Paul Croxton was among three men found guilty of the murder of the father-of-two in a targeted shooting in Liverpool in November 2012.

The 21-year-old, of Polinda Gardens, Thatto Heath, was also found guilty of attempting to murder Darren Alcock and shooting at houses associated with criminal rivals.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Mr Osu, 31, was ambushed by masked men on his driveway who then fled in a car which had been stolen from outside Queens Park Leisure Centre.

High Court judge Mr Justice Openshaw told how the murder had been “carefully planned” and how Croxton had visited the scene on more than 20 occasions in his private hire taxi.

The judge said of Croxton: “He was not acting on his own over some private grievance with Jason Osu. In fact it is quite possible he did not know him at all. He received his orders from some shadowy, sinister, malign and powerful gangland figure.”

He said that nothing had been said about Jason Osu’s lifestyle, but added: “To my mind the inevitable and inescapable conclusion given the manner of his murder was he was ruthlessly and professionally executed in pursuance of some gangland feud.”

Judge Openshaw, who jailed Croxton for life, said he would have fixed the minimum term at 27 years for Mr Osu’s murder - a reduction from the 30-year starting point for gun murders because the defendant was just 20 at the time.

But, because of his involvement in the other shootings, he increased that to a minimum term of 30 years before he can apply for parole.

George McGovern, 54, who was involved in the planning will only be considered for release when he turns 80.

Gunman Thomas White, 30, was told he had shown “not the slightest regret” over what he had done. He was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 32 years.