Thomas Cashman assassination attempt foiled by Screwfix trip hours before schoolgirl's murder

Published date08 April 2023
Publication titleDaily Record, The / Sunday Mail: Web Edition Articles (Scotland)
Cashman's initial plot was foiled when his intended victim had unexpectedly gone to Screwfix instead.Manchester Crown Square Courtheard the 34-year-old gunman had spent the majority of his day patrolling the area nearby Finch Lane, the ECHO reports

He had spotted Nee's Volkswagen Transporter van parked up on a street in the early afternoon outside the home of a man called Timothy Naylor where he would later watch the Liverpool v Manchester United match on TV. The two men went to Aintree Retail Park and shopped in Currys and American Golf before getting food from Subway and returning to Finch Lane where Nee helped Mr Naylor set up a TV he had purchased.

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It was at this time that Cashman passed by the address in a Citroen Berlingo in dark clothing and was spotted on CCTV footage at the junction of Berryford Road and Finch Lane shortly before 4pm. Cameras captured him on the street corner with his face covered looking in the direction of Mr Naylor's home before doing a sudden 'about turn' when he realised Nee's van was no longer there.

Unbeknown to Cashman, his target had left the area about half an hour earlier and travelled back to Aintree Retail Park to visit ScrewFix. This was a trip that is likely to have saved his life as the prosecution alleges that Cashman had been out to shoot Nee dead at this moment.

The hitman continued to keep tabs on Finch Lane throughout the day, taking a total of 12 trips past the home in the afternoon and evening of August 22. One of his visits came just minutes after the game had kicked off and Nee's van was seen back on Finch Lane exactly where Cashman wanted him.

He briefly returned home for eight minutes before heading out again and parking his van on Aspes Road and continued on foot. Cashman waited outside for over half an hour with two loaded guns in his possession before the game finished at 9.52pm.

Jurors heard when Nee left the address with another man, Paul Abraham the gunman approached them from behind and opened fire with a self-loading Glock-style pistol. CCTV footage showed Mr Abraham running for his life while Nee was shot down and stumbled to the ground.

David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, described how Cashman stood over the helpless 35-year-old and attempted to shoot him dead as Nee begged: "Please don't, don't lad". However...

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