Lancashire Constabulary Logo

Men jailed after shooting

Friday, March 22, 2024

Two people have been jailed for their part in a shooting incident in Skelmersdale.


We were called to Birch Green Road at 6.11pm on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022.


Stephen Birch, 32, was found with a gunshot wound to his leg and was taken to hospital to be treated.


Following enquiries, we arrested two men and after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service they were charged.


Cole Kelly, 23, of Inglewhite, Skelmersdale and Warren Williams, 20, of Broad Lane, Kirby, were both charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.


The pair appeared at Preston Crown Court last December where Williams pleaded guilty to Section 18 wounding and possession of a firearm and Kelly admitted assisting an offender.

Williams Kelly


They appeared at Preston Crown Court today (Friday, March 22) where Williams was sentenced to eight years and two months and Kelly to three years and four months.


Detective Supt Mark Haworth-Oates, of South Division, said: “I welcome these sentences today for the part that each of these men played in the shooting of Stephen Birch. This was an offence that happened during the early evening in a busy residential area where people were going about their normal business. Only a minute before the incident a group of youths had walked past those involved and it is sheer good fortune that no one else was injured or killed as a result of the completely reckless actions of the defendants.


“From the start of the investigation Stephen Birch has been uncooperative and refused to provide a statement or to name the people responsible. Despite this we have persevered and built a strong case against the two defendants despite the lack of witness evidence to put them at the scene. We also prosecuted the victim for his part in the build up to the shooting which involved him making threats with a machete.

“This kind of lawless and dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated and, as in this case, we will seek to prosecute those involved wherever possible to keep our communities safe.”

In relation to the earlier incident on November 9th Stephen Birch, of no fixed address, was charged with affray and Possession of an Offensive Weapon in a public place and was sentenced to 20 months in September 2023 at Preston Crown Court.