Hitmen get life for shooting dead woman by mistake
A mother-of-two was murdered by mistake after bumbling hitmen shot dead the wrong person.
Hayley Pointon, 30, was not the intended target of a "hit" when she was shot dead in Hinckley in February 2013.
Instead, killers Aaron Power and Aaron Newman were tasked with shooting her boyfriend Nigel Barwell.
The pair were jailed for life today at Leicester Crown Court and will serve a minimum term of 31 years each after the "cold-blooded murder".
Judge Mr Justice King said: "The scars you have inflicted on each family member will be long lasting."
"This was in truth a calculated, cold-blooded murder. This was a planned killing and each of you were part of that plan.
"It may never be known who fired the shot but what is sure is each of you were involved in the killing and each had an intention to kill.
"The fact the victim wasn't the intended victim doesn't dilute the weight of the attack.
"No words of mine can express the depth of the relatives' grief for the loss you have caused at taking her life away at such a young age."
The pair showed no emotion as they were sent down.
The court heard Ms Pointon and on-off boyfriend Mr Barwell were in the garden at his house in Sunnydale Road, Hinckley on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Two men - Power and Newman - appeared with a gun and as Barwell ran inside to get a machete, a shot was fired which struck Ms Pointon piercing both her lungs.
She died before paramedics arrived.
Leicester Crown Court heard Ms Pointon left two young children, Lacey and Reeghan, who were seven and three at the time of the shooting.
Reading from a victim impact statement, James House QC said: "The moment the gun was fired, their lives changed forever."
He added the investigation has taken a "huge toll" on the family.
Mitigating, Joel Bennathan QC asked the judge to take in to account Power's age when sentencing, while Philip Bown said Newman had shown a "degree of naivety".
CCTV footage, mobile phone records and two vehicles linked 25-year-old Power, originally from Coventry, and 24-year-old Newman, of Attoxhall Road, Coventry, to the offence.
Both had denied murder but were found guilty on Friday after a two-month trial.
Dylan Whitty, 30, from Coventry, was convicted of assisting an offender and will be sentenced next month.
Ms Pointon's mother, Kerry Pointon, said: "It has been a soul-destroying two and a half years since Hayley's death. This verdict, although the one we needed and Hayley deserves, is now only the start to us rebuilding our shattered lives without Hayley there."