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'Untouchable' gangland enforcer jailed for life; Ruthless killers face total of 61 years in prison.

Byline: BY CHLOE GRIFFITHS Daily Post Staff

A GANGLAND enforcer who believed he was "untouchable" has been jailed for life.

Underworld figure David Hibbs- Turner will serve a minimum of 37 years in prison for the murder of father-of-two Michael Wright - as well as masterminding an international drugs ring and running a protection racket.

The 30-year-old sat with arms crossed and showed no emotion as Liverpool Crown Court heard he was the "principal architect and controlling mind" behind a wave of crime and terror across Merseyside.

Also sentenced was "executioner or executioner's assistant" 20-year-old Philip Woolley, who has an IQ of just 68, and described as "suffering a significant mental impairment" and was told he will serve a minimum of 24 years.

Mr Justice Butterfield told the pair: "I told the jury this was a ruthless and callous killing, deliberate and merciless. I add only one adjective - it was cowardly."

The pair were both convicted on Friday of the "cold-blooded" execution of Michael Wright as he sat eating a takeaway in his car.

But sentencing was adjourned while the jury continued their deliberations in the verdicts on their co-accused Paul Hollands, 19, of Portlemouth Road, Croxteth, and Mark Richardson, 24, of Sherwoods Road, Fazakerley.

Yesterday, after 20 hours, the jury said they were unable to return a verdict and were discharged.

The duo will now face a retrial.

But the court heard it was Hibbs-Turner who was the "ringleader" of the murder, who "held the strings". The jury heard the slaying was motivated by a personal hatred because his girlfriend Jennifer Tasker had previously dated Mr Wright and the pair had a child together.

Mr Justice Butterfield told him: "You dispatched the executioners to go and kill him.

"It was clearly a pre-meditated killing."

The jury was told Hibbs-Turner, who had a string of homes in Liverpool, as well as a property in Marbella, learned Mr Wright, 34, of Waterloo Dock, Liverpool city centre, was on his way to the KFC on Croxteth's Stonedale Retail Park on the East Lancs Road on December 8, 2006.

Hibbs-Turner then rang Woolley, of Roderick Road, Walton, who went to the scene in a black Skoda Octavia.

They were watched by plainclothed police officers in an unmarked car, and moments later three shots rang out and father-of-two Mr Wright sat fatally wounded in his car.

Mr Justice Butterfield praised the police and witnesses. He said: "There is such a climate of fear that those who involved themselves in such killings come to believe they are untouchable and above the law, but they do not bank on the determination and professionalism of Merseyside Police."


Michael Wright - target of a 'cold-blooded execution'; Philip Woolley - 'the shooter'; David Anthony Hibbs-Turner
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 29, 2008
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