Gangs from Liverpool and Manchester ignoring football rivalries

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The relationships between crime gangs from Liverpool and Manchester are generally based around money rather than petty local rivalries.
Yesterday Manchester Crown court heard how a drug gang from Liverpool stormed a house in Kilmarnock with a machete, sword and scaffolding poles.
One of the gang demanded to know 'where the Mancs' were as they slashed out at two drug addicts caught inside the property.
The court case heard that gangs from Liverpool and Manchester were compering for the potentially lucrative county lines drug market in Kilmarnock.
The Liverpool gang used a woman as a decoy to knock on the door of a drugs' house and then burst inside looking for their counterparts from Manchester.

The ECHO understands this type of incident is illustrative of the violence and chaos at the heart of the county lines drugs' market.
But in truth established gangs from Liverpool and Manchester are far more likely to fall out with rivals from their own post codes than each other.
Gangs from Liverpool and Manchester have always reached out to each other to do business . The relationships tend to be purely transactional.
Criminals have told the ECHO that historically Liverpool criminals had more sophisticated drug contacts and crooks from Manchester were more heavily involved in armed robbery and firearms.

And the ECHO has been told by trusted sourced that drug gangs from Manchester and Liverpool based in Holland and Spain also tend to work together and assist each other where possible.

Curtis Warren
In the 1990s Toxteth drug dealer Curtis Warren included a number of veteran criminals from Manchester in his operation.

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Warren appeared to be comfortable working with Mancunians and reserved most of his antipathy toward rival crooks from L8.

Manchester men John Farrell and Stephen Whitehead were both established members of Warren's Dutch based drug gang. Both men were jailed along with Warren in 1997.

Police surveillance footage of Curtis Warren with Brian Charrington

Whitehead was jailed for seven years and Farrell was sentenced to 12 months. But Farrell was released shortly after sentence on account of the time he had sent in custody awaiting trial.

Warren was convicted of trying to mastermind a £125m drugs shipment from the Netherlands into the UK and sentenced to 12 years prison.

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And in more recent years the courts have heard how established criminals from Liverpool and Manchester have worked together on drug deals.

Peter Clarke

Operation Redstart was a sophisticated cross border police operation set up to target the activities of Liverpool criminal Peter Clarke.

Surveillance officers tracking Clarke and his associates followed them on meetings across Manchester. Clarke, a former soldier, was regularly followed travelling across to south Manchester where he met criminals associates.

In 2013 prosecutors made it clear that the drugs export operation covered a vast array of criminals from Manchester and Liverpool who conspired to help Peter Clarke export drugs to Ireland.

Several Manchester men were prosecuted as a result of Redstart and received varying prison sentences.
Gang war
Although John Kinsella was a well known north Liverpool criminal, he had struck up a close association with a group of criminals from Salford.
In particular Mr Kinsella was particularly close to well known Salford man Paul Massey.
Mr Kinsella, through his friendship with Massey, was introduced to a group of violent young criminals from Salford called the A team.
Members of the gang looked up to both Massey and Kinsella, who were both experienced and respected criminals.
But when the gang splinted into two rival factions, both men found they had fallen foul of a very dangerous group of young men. Close friends became sworn enemies overnight.

Mark Fellows, (left) has claimed that he shot John Kinsella because the Liverpool man was intent on revenge for the death of his close friend Paul Massey

The cold blooded execution of Massey outside his Salford home on a quiet Sunday evening sent shockwaves across gangland Britain.

Massey's closest associates were all convinced that Salford criminal Mark Fellows had been responsible for the shooting.
But when Fellows moves to Warrington, the tensions between him and Massey's closest friend were heightened.
Fellows claimed that Mr Kinseall was intent on exacting revenge for his late friend so decided to act first.
Fellows used local sources to find out information about Mr Kinsella's movements.
He executed the Liverpool man shooting him in back as he walked his dogs on the morning of May 5 2018.

Fellows later received a whole life sentence for carrying out the two murders.
His spotter, Steven Boyle, was jailed for life for helping Fellows shoot Mr Kinsella.

Trainees and laces

The Salford gang war which claimed the lives of Massey and Mr Kinsella resulted in a massive police operation which targeted senior members of the A team gang.

A leaked police intelligence report revealed that a gun linked to a spate of shootings across Merseyside was later used by the A team in their gang war.

The Heckler and Koch 9mm was used by Salford gangsters to target a mother and her son on their doorstep. And Jamie Rothwell , linked to the rival faction, was shot and injured at a car wash with the gun.

Undated handout photo issued by Greater Manchester Police of the gun used in the shooting of seven-year-old Christian Hickey Jr and his mother Jayne, who were shot in a suspected gangland feud. Gangsters involved in a botched revenge attack that left a seven-year-old boy and his mother shot down on their doorstep will be sentenced later. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 12, 2019. Christian Hickey Jr and his mother, Jayne, were blasted in the legs with a Heckler & Koch P7 self-loading pistol as they answered the door to their house in Winton, Salford, in October 2015. See PA story COURTS Boy. Photo credit should read: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire

Criminals on Merseyside told the ECHO that gangs from Liverpool had loaned the guns to members of the A team.
The weapons were referred to by gang members as 'trainees' and 'bullets' known as laces.

Guns for hire

Last year the ECHO revealed how a group of criminals from Merseyside travelled to Salford to target a man said to the leader of the A Team gang.

Phillip Manning, Tony Kelly and Bryan Thomas were jailed for their part in a targeted shooting in Salford which left a man with a bullet in his spine.

Phillip Manning (left) and Tony Kelly

Sources in Salford told the ECHO that the men were paid money by the anti A team faction to target Stephen Britton. Britton was not in the house at the time of the shooting.

Bryan Thomas, 19 and of HMP Forest Bank but who has links to Kirkby and Formby, was jailed for his role in a shooting in Salford and a kidnap in Huyton. Image: Merseyside Police

Kelly, Manning and Thomas all pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an illegal firearm at earlier hearings.

Manning and Kelly were jailed for 16 years and six months each. Thomas, who was also sentenced for his role in a kidnap, was jailed for 17 years with a four-year extended licence.

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