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Gunman’s girlfriend convicted for aiding his escape

November 23, 2012, 6:55 pm

A young woman who helped her boyfriend escape from police after he’d opened fire on a pub full of people on Christmas night, will be sentenced

Kate Bamber, 24, from Everton, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. She was out drinking with James McDonough in the West Derby pub on the night of 25th December 2011.

Whilst in the pub, known drug dealer McDonough fired six shots into a crowd of people in an apparent attack on members of a rival gang.

As McDonough attempted to flee, Bamber is seen on CCTV forcibly directing him towards an upstairs fire escape. They discard the weapon and are witnessed leaving the pub separately. Bamber is filmed wearing the gunman’s distinctive jacket in a further attempt to avoid him being spotted by officers at the scene.

Bamber then supported McDonough’s attempts to evade capture for several weeks despite huge publicity around the incident.

McDonough was eventually arrested and prosecuted. Bamber had claimed she had ‘dumped’ him after the incident because he was a wanted man, but evidence showed she was in touch with him. They had also been in contact whilst he was on remand for the shooting.

Maria Corr, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “Kate Bamber witnessed her boyfriend open fire indiscriminately on a pub full of people, who were simply out for a Christmas drink.

“In an attempt to perhaps prove her loyalty to this dangerous gunman she chose to help him evade justice, actively engineering his escape from the scene.

“She is paying a heavy price and is now herself a convicted criminal. I hope other women in the same situation heed this case and think twice about protecting offenders out of an apparent misguided sense of duty.

“Duty is not a defence.

McDonough was convicted of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. He received 12 years imprisonment plus an extended licence period of 5 yrs totalling a 17 year sentence

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