UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news

MetiNews.Com - Constance Howarth's appeal bid fails as judges reject claim that hitmen couldn't tell a white man and a mixed race man apart

UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news

MetiNews.Com - Constance Howarth's appeal bid fails as judges reject claim that hitmen couldn't tell a white man and a mixed race man apart

UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news
18 October 2020 - 17:45

Breaking News ! Smartly dressed, aged 28, Constance Howarth told an Old Bailey jury she was no gangster. "I am just a girl. Me, I don't know anything about guns." They did not believe her, she was convicted of being an underworld arms dealer, and jailed for five years. A decade later, Howarth was back in the dock. This time she was charged with conspiracy to murder, and jailed for life, with a minimum of 20 years to serve. Now, it can be reported for the first time, she has made a bid to get out of jail - by blaming two notorious south Manchester gangs for the double killing which led to her being locked up for life. The Brass Handles has been demolished since the horrific violence of March 2006 The shooting at the Brass Handles, a family pub in Pendleton, Salford, was one of the most notorious crimes in Greater Manchester's recent history. Fourteen-and-a-half years ago, two young men were shot dead - Richard Austin, 19, and Carlton Alveranga, 20 - having been sent to the pub to assassinate a man drinking inside, before being overpowered and killed with their own weapons. Two other young men, Salford's David Totton and his friend Aaron Travers, were shot and wounded by the would-be hitmen, in the moments before the failed assassins were killed, by some unknown person or people inside the pub, and dragged outside. The police investigation that followed uncovered a conspiracy involving senior figures from both Salford and Moss Side's criminal underworld. Among them was Constance Howarth - aka the Black Widow. The secretary for Salford hardman Paul Massey's security firm, PMS, Howarth had acted as a 'spotter' in the failed assassination bid. Bobby Spiers It had been engineered by Bobby Spiers, Paul Massey's right-hand man, who had fallen out with the intended target of the shooting, David Totton, and gave himself an alibi by watching United in a box at Old Trafford as the assassination bid took place. Keen not to be seen to be involved in an attack on one of Salford's own, Spiers had turned to Ian McLeod, one of the founder members of the Doddington gang for help taking out his rival Totton. Ian McLeod McLeod was a veteran of the drug wars of the 1980s who had gone into the security business. He had met Spiers when they both undertook Security Industry Authority training, and after being approached for help, recruited two naive young men, Austin and Alveranga for the hit-job on Totton. All these facts were established years ago. Richard Austin (L) and Carlton Alveranga (R) But this year, in a bid to get out of prison, Howarth put forward a different version of events - claiming that Alveranga and Austin died as a result of feuding between the Gooch and Doddington gang. Howarth applied to the Court of Appeal in June for leave to appeal against her conviction. And her lawyer told the court that in 2006 the Doddington and The Gooch were at war, resulting in a series of fatal shootings. These included the killing of Ramone Cumberbatch, who was shot dead by a known Gooch member in September 2005, and the killing of Jonathon Cawley, also shot dead by a man with ties to the Gooch. Read More Related Articles How a boy who dreamed of being a train driver became a 'Gunchester instigator' who was shot 20 times and lost 30 friends to gang war Read More Related Articles I helped bring down my gangster ex-boyfriend Tommy Pitt - and I've been living in fear ever since Howarth's appeal bid rested on the argument that Ian McLeod was the leader of the Doddington and that Austin and Alveranga were members who had lost pals to the Gooch - and that they were out for revenge. And she asserted that it was not David Totton who McLeod, Austin and Alveranga were after that day, but another man drinking in the pub - Marcus Callaghan - who was associated with the rival Gooch gang at the time. Her lawyer told the Court of Appeal that there had been a failure by her former legal team - a 'major failing' - to make relevant requests to disclose material to suggest that the Brass Handles shooting was inter-gang related violence, with Callaghan as the target. It was claimed that such a plan did not need her as a spotter, that she did not know Callaghan, and that her first legal team had failed to advise her to the need to call Spiers at her trial as a witness. It was suggested they should have requested a delay in her trial in order for him to be extradited from Spain, where he fled in the aftermath of the killings. Howarth's legal bid was heard by three judges - and ultimately failed. Court of Appeal in London (Image: PA) Denying Howarth leave to appeal against her conviction, Lady Justice Carr said the Callaghan theory was 'highly speculative' not least because Callaghan was of mixed heritage and bears no resemblance to either Totton or Travers. Lady Justice Carr added: "The Callaghan theory would have involved the applicant effectively accusing McLeod of organising the shooting because of gang rivalry. Given the applicant's close contact with him that would not have exonerated her. She adds: "The case against her based on her telephone conversations, and for example lies, and disposal of the handset with number 752, would have remained. "Finally, advancing the theory would have exposed the applicant to the likelihood, if not certainty, of her previous convictions for perverting the course of justice in the context of a serious gangland murder and firearms offences being admitted before the jury." Read More Related Articles How the killer of a Discotheque Royale clubber escaped justice for 26 years Read More Related Articles Could Manchester hold the key to catching Kevin 'Hemp' Parle? The 15-year hunt for a double murder suspect Howarth, now 51, faces at least another seven years in prison. Her trial for conspiracy murder heard she played a key role in the botched gangland hit, guiding the would-be assassins to their quarry inside the Brass Handles pub in Salford. At about 2.15pm on March 12, 2006 the family pub in Pendleton was busy with locals watching the Manchester United v Newcastle game on TV. As the gunmen entered the Vault, Howarth, of Rosalind Court, Salford, had already slipped away into the ladies toilet, from where she heard the firecracker sound of shots as she touched up her lipstick.

. The par walked to where David Totton and Aaron Travers were sitting together. Austin fired six times and both men were hit, and seriously injured. But Alveranga's handgun jammed. Several customers then fought with the gunmen, disarming them. During the struggle both were shot and fatally wounded. They collapsed outside on a green croft in Fitzwarren Street and died at the scene. Mr Totton and Mr Travers were driven to hospital by friends. Neither would co-operate with a police inquiry. A CCTV system inside the pub had been ripped out by the time police arrived. But a case was built around telephone communications. Howarth was convicted alongside Ian McLeod, who received a life sentence and a recommendation he serve 21 years. Read More Related Articles Sign up for the MEN's free daily newsletter Read More Related Articles His murder made the Noonans notorious - but who was 'White Tony?' Jailing the pair, Mr Justice Andrew Smith said : "Two men died, they were not innocents, but they were young, their lives were not expendable. "In view of the calculating nature of this offence I consider there is every danger you are incorrigibly involved in violent crime. You will always present a danger to the public. "You both have previous offences and have been to prison before, you have both had previous involvement in firearms. I consider that in both of your cases there is significant risk to the public of serious harm as a result of you committing further offences." Bobby Spiers, who fled to Spain in the aftermath of the shooting was extradited in 2009 and convicted after a second trial. He was jailed for life and must serve at least 23 years. Sometime before the shooting Totton was refused entry to a nightclub in Manchester. He told the doormen he was a friend of Bobby Spiers who was already inside. The bouncers fetched Spiers to the door. Even though he knew who Totton was he feigned ignorance. Totton then started to drink in Spiers' local - the Brass Handles, which, it's believed, Spiers interpreted as a threat. This petty spat was considered to be a potential spark for the murder plot. In 2009 Marcus Callaghan was named as being a 'person of interest' in connection with the murders of Austin and Alveranga. Marcus Callaghan at the time of his arrest for drugs offences (Image: GMP) He has never been charged in connection with the shooting. But, in 2018, he was jailed for 24 years for operating a multi-million pound drugs operation from a flat in Canal View, Stalybridge. The aim was to flood the north east with high-purity heroin and cocaine. He ran his illegal operation like it was a legitimate business, employing a money man to launder piles of cash and using expensive corporate entertainment to thank his clientele for their custom. A police operation seized heroin, cocaine and cannabis with a total street value of £32m. Callaghan was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, and two counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs. Meanwhile, the killing of Austin and Alveranga, who it is believed were made to do the attempted hit as they were in debt to McLeod, remains unsolved. Howarth has years left to serve Constance Howarth had ties to Glasgow's criminal underworld as well as Greater Manchester. In May 1997 police swooped on her car, following a surveillance operation involving MI5, as she drove from London to Manchester. In the vehicle, inside a box tied with string, were three machine pistols, ammunition, six 25-round magazines, silencers, and four detonators. The box of weapons had first been exchanged for an envelope of cash handed over by Glasgow gangland figure, Paul Ferris, before being switched to Howarth's car. Ferris, also an associate of the late Paul Massey, got ten years for the same offence.

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UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news


UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news


UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news


UK Woman gangster blames Gooch and Doddington for killings in bid to escape jail last minute news

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