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Following a number of firearm discharges in and around the Maghull area in March last year the force stated it would find those responsible and put them before the courts.

Last week three men were sentenced to 88 years in prison after being found guilty of the murder of 31-year-old Jason Osu in November 2012. Mr Osu was shot as he was parking his car in his driveway on Beauclair Drive in Wavertree on Monday, 19 November 2012. He died in hospital on Monday, 26 November as a result of his injuries.

Following the launch of a murder investigation three men, 22-year-old Paul Croxton, 54-year-old George McGovern and 30-year-old Thomas White, were charged with Jason’s murder.

Mr Croxton was also found guilty of committing the series of shootings in and around the Maghull area. The addresses targeted were linked to association from an organised crime group.

Detective Superintendent Richie Salter, who led the investigation into the Maghull shootings, said: “This was a complex and difficult investigation and we are pleased with the verdicts returned by the jury.

“Croxton carried out these shootings without any thought for the local community. In fact during one of the incidents at Fern Bank one of the bullets fired at an address hit the neighbouring property and went through a downstairs window. Fortunately the occupant of this address, who was completely innocent and not involved in organised crime whatsoever, was upstairs at the time, but it could easily have been a different story

“Since April 2013 we have seen a 40 per cent decrease* in the number of firearms discharges in Merseyside. But we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to do everything within our power to find those who are prepared to endanger lives and take them and their weapons off our streets.

“Merseyside Police has recently consolidated its resources involved in the investigation and disruption of those who commit serious and organised crime. As a result we now have a substantial team (Matrix Serious Organised Crime team) who are solely committed to taking people like this off our streets and putting them behind bars. We are resolute in our aim to make our streets safer.”

Sefton Area Commander Temporary Chief Superintendent Kevin Johnson, said: “Following these shootings the force put significant resources in to policing the streets of Sefton, whilst an intensive investigation was put in place to identify and arrest those responsible. During the investigation the Sefton community was supportive of the police activity and we worked closely with Sefton Council to ensure that communities were kept informed and reassured throughout.

“There is no place in our communities for people who commit such violent and horrendous crimes. This man brought fear to a community and, as this case has proven, we will not standby and watch people like Croxton create a climate of fear and intimidation. The people of Sefton should take comfort in the fact all these men are behind bars.”

Anyone who has information about those involved in gun crime on Merseyside can contact the Matrix Serious Organised Crime team on 0800 230 0600, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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