Man started carrying ‘gun’ in his pants after being kneecapped by teen

A man started carrying a toy gun after he was kneecapped by a teenage boy during a shooting outside a supermarket.

Michael Costello was hauled before Liverpool Crown Court this week after firefighters saw him pull the imitation firearm from his trousers during an altercation at the Western Approaches pub in Croxteth. He was then taken into a taxi, telling the driver he was ‘tied up’ before dumping the fake gun in his former partner’s bathroom.

The ECHO previously reported that the 35-year-old, of Knighton Road in Walton, became a victim after gunman Joel Harvey, then 16, opened fire with a handgun during a ‘revenge’ attack on Prescot Road in Old Swan. The youth was subsequently linked to a second incident in which another man was shot in the chest in Broadgreen just weeks later.

READ MORE: Doctor breaks down in tears as he is acquitted of sexually assaulting colleagues

READ MORE: Woman to stand trial for murder of 90-year-old Myra Thompson

A trial heard that Harvey, of Lindisfarne Drive in Croxtethshot Costello with a Grand Power G9A self-loading pistol in the early hours of December 11, 2021. Henry Riding, prosecuting, described how the youth took an Alpha taxi from Baden Road in Old Swan, where he was staying with his grandmother, to One Stop on Prescot Road about 2:30 a.m. and then back again.

Both parties were captured on camera outside the store during this visit. Costello remained in the area shortly after 3am when he was approached by two men riding an e-bike, wearing dark clothing and with their faces covered.

It was at this point that Harvey, who had recruited an accomplice to transport him to the crime scene after returning to his grandmother’s house to retrieve the gun, fired three shots, hitting his target with two. Costello suffered a broken left kneecap while another bullet passed through his right thigh, requiring surgery on both legs.

It was suspected that the shooting was carried out “in revenge or retaliation” for an attack previously carried out by Costello or as a result of a “pre-existing grudge”. The same gun was then used to shoot Lewis Cottage, a man in his 20s, on the Green in Broadgreen at around 9pm on January 16, 2022.

He presented at the Royal Liverpool Hospital that evening after suffering gunshot wounds to his chest and arms. Harvey’s DNA was discovered on one of two fired shell casings recovered by police at the scene.

The teenager was convicted after a trial of wounding with intent, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, two counts of possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition after a trial. Appearing outside HMP Wetherby via video link this morning, he showed no emotion as he was jailed for 12 and a half years and given a driving license for a further two and a half years.

Sentencing, Judge Clement Goldstone KC said: ‘Either because of something said or indicated to you, or because of a pre-existing grudge you held against him for something he had done to you or a friend, you decided that he should . So you returned to your grandmother’s house nearby, armed yourself with a loaded and deadly Grand Power self-loading automatic pistol and ordered another man to take you back to the vicinity of the store on an e-bike the hope. and the belief that Michael Costello would still be there.

“He was still there, and as you rode by on the back of the e-bike, you fired a total of three shots. The rounds you fired struck him twice, causing him a very serious, if not life-threatening, injury.

“The gun was one that you already had in your possession or had ready, no questions asked. Despite the fact that you have been arrested and interrogated twice, in fact not only on suspicion of firearms offenses but also of attempted to murder, you were completely unfazed by the experience and went on to commit the latest series of crimes which, had you not been arrested when you were, would undoubtedly have led to you shooting again with the intention of at least endangering the life of your intended victim or victims.”

Joel Harvey

Joel Harvey – Credit: Merseyside Police

The same court heard on Monday that firefighters returned to Croxteth Fire Station on Storrington Avenue shortly before 8.30pm on May 21 last year following a call. But as they drove along Lower House Lane on the way, the driver heard shouting outside the pub and saw Costello ‘waving his arms in the air’ and then ‘fumbling with something in the waistband of his trousers’, which he claimed was the case. be a firearm.

Appearing again for the prosecution at Costello’s sentencing hearing, Mr Riding described how he pointed this object at the entrance to the property before entering. But he left again shortly afterwards, causing a vehicle to “drive away at an alarming speed”.

Costello was then followed by members of the fire brigade as he got into a taxi, which took him a short distance away to his ex’s house. Armed police then arrested him as he left the address and discovered a plastic pistol and a BB gun in the downstairs toilet.

The resident’s 12-year-old son said he saw the suspect enter the bathroom and see the toys inside. The taxi driver later told officers that Costello had confessed to him that he had “got into an argument with a man who didn’t know he was tied up” and then “started tapping his side.”

During an interview, he gave a prepared statement to investigators in which he claimed that he had in fact been carrying a bottle of rum that he “brought with him to consume in the pub.” His previous convictions include a recent community order for affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

Kate Morley, defending, told the court: ‘He is genuinely remorseful for his actions. He was in a particularly bad mental state at the time.

‘Last year he was punished twice under the Mental Health Act. He is in a much better mental state.

“He can’t quite remember because of his mental state at the time. He was mentally confused all over the place.

“He was in a bad place. He bitterly regrets his actions.”

Michael Costello outside Liverpool Crown CourtMichael Costello outside Liverpool Crown Court

Michael Costello outside Liverpool Crown Court – Credit: Liverpool Echo

Costello admitted carrying an imitation firearm in a public place. He was given a five-month prison sentence suspended for one year, a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days and a program requirement.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Menary KC, Honorary Recorder of Liverpool, said: ‘I have no doubt that you had something in your hand, something that appeared to be a black pistol. I don’t know what that was all about.

“You didn’t reveal what it was about. You accepted that you did have a toy gun, but accidentally found it in the gutter that night.

‘I reject this statement. The fact is that, for whatever reason, that evening you saw the opportunity to pick up an object that looked like a gun, intending for people to believe it was a gun.

‘You have to realize how close you have come to a more serious accusation. You’ve been struggling with your mental health lately.

‘I am convinced that you would benefit from some support from the probation service. You take care of your mother and you have your own health problems.

“I hope you can put this matter behind you now.”

Costello replied: “Cheers, Your Honor.”

Don’t miss the biggest, most recent stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here

Leave a Comment