TWO COVENTRY men who were hired to kill a man but instead shot innocent mother of two, Hayley Pointon, have been convicted of her murder.
Aaron Power, a 25-year-old originally from Coventry, and Aaron Newman, aged 24 of Attoxall Road, denied murdering the 30-year-old in February 2013 but were found guilty of the crime on Friday, July 31 following an eight-week trial at Leicester Crown Court.
The pair appeared at court today (Monday, August 3) where they were each sentenced to serve a minimum of 31 years before they will be considered eligible for parole.
A third Coventry man – 30-year-old Dylan Whitty – was also found guilty for his part in the murder plot after being convicted of assisting an offender by being recruited to assist in the disposal of a vehicle used in the crime.
He is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, September 8.
Police were called to Sunnydale Road, in Hinckley, shortly after 10.30pm on February 3, 2013 following a report that a woman had been shot at the address.
Hayley Pointon, who was also from Coventry, was found dead inside the house and a post-mortem examination concluded she had died from a gunshot wound.
The court heard how Miss Pointon had been leaving the property when shots were fired – the man she was with believed to have been the intended target.
Senior investigation officer Tony Yarwood, who led the murder inquiry, said: “Power and Newman were essentially hired as hit-men – tasked with ending the life of one particular person.
“They planned the hit and recruited others along the way to help them dispose of evidence and flee the scene.
“But the fatal shot they fired that night did not reach their intended target.
“Instead it was Hayley who was in the firing line – a loving mother of two who was the collateral damage of their murder plan.”
The subsequent police investigation into Hayley’s death lasted more than a year and a half and, at its height, involved more than 100 officers.
Throughout the course of the enquiries police took more than 800 statements, conducted more than 70 interviews with suspects and produced more than 2,000 exhibits.
And by trawling through CCTV, mobile phone records and tracking two vehicles, the investigation team linked Misters Power, Newman and Whitty to the murder.
Detective Inspector Yarwood added that the court’s result was testament to the dedication of an investigation team ‘whose determination to bring these men to justice never faltered’ despite the lengthy and complex investigation.
He said: “It was a horrific crime which has left two young children without a mother and family without their loving daughter and sister.
“Hayley’s family have conducted themselves with the upmost dignity throughout the course of the investigation and subsequent trial and I hope today’s convictions helps them find some closure following this tragedy.”
In a statment released on behalf of Hayley’s family and friends, Hayley’s mother Kerry Pointon thanked the officers and prosecution team for the ‘outstanding effort’ they put into bringing Hayley’s killers to justice.
Kerry Pointon added: “They have shown us support and compassion through this whole heart-breaking ordeal, including the eight-week court trial we have had to endure.
“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.
“She can never be replaced in our lives and therefore we feel that there can never be any true justice for Hayley and her children.”