Last gang member finally jailed for murder of Kieran McGrath in Ashton
Wednesday 16th November 2016 @ 15:07 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

The last member of the gang responsible for the murder of Kieran McGrath was convicted of murder today.

Following a re-trial, 34-year-old Remi Adams, from Whitefield, was found guilty of murder and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Three other men; Anthony Henry, Troy Beckford and Jace Smith, were also found guilty of murder at a previous hearing.

Henry’s 25-year-old girlfriend, Bretony Gillmore, was convicted of assisting an offender.

Kieran McGrath was shot in the chest outside the Sheldon Arms pub in Ashton on October 4th 2014. He managed to drive nearly half a mile to Ashton Police Station, where he collapsed and died, despite paramedic’s frantic efforts to save his life.

The murder was a tragic end to what had been a bitter, two year feud between Kieran and Anthony Henry, it was revealed in court.

32-year-old Anthony Henry, from Miles Platting, was jailed for life with a minimum of 33 years.

32-year-old Anthony Henry, from Miles Platting, was jailed
for life with a minimum of 33 years.

The DCI on the case dubbed it ‘the digital investigation’ due to the volume of communication data between the gang which played a key part in bringing them to justice.

Details of the plot to kill Kieran also came to light over the course of both trials.

In April 2014, a man walked into a surveillance shop in Stockport and bought four covert tracking devices which would eventually be used in the murder.

One was placed onto Kieran’s car so Anthony Henry and his co-conspirators could trace his movements but these were foiled after a mechanic spotted them during an inspection.

During the case, Kieran’s mother, Marie, told the court that she had overheard a phone conversation between Kieran and Henry in the middle of September 2014 where Kieran said: “What are you putting a tracker on my car for? You’ve got my phone number, just call me and I’ll tell you where I am and we’ll have it out.”

Another tracker was installed on an Audi S3 by Troy Beckford in the early hours of Tuesday September 23rd, following the purchase of two phones by Henry and Beckford which were used to plan the murder.

Henry used his iPad to check the location and the travel history of the tracking device on a daily basis. This was the tracker which would eventually lead Jace Smith and Remi Adams to the Sheldon Arms pub on that fateful night.

On Friday October 3rd, the day before the shooting, the plotters carried out a practice run which involved two men on a red motorcycle driving past Kieran’s close friend’s house a total of six times.

24-year-old Troy Beckford, from Golborne, was jailed for life with a minimum of 31 years.

24-year-old Troy Beckford, from Golborne, was jailed
for life with a minimum of 31 years.

Throughout the day the four co-conspirators were in constant communication and Kieran’s movements were being closely monitored.

On Saturday October 4th, Beckford purchased two handsets which would be used exclusively for the relaying of Kieran’s location between Beckford, Henry, Adams and Smith.

Later that evening, Kieran met friends at the Sheldon Arms Pub at around 9pm.

At 9.53pm, Smith and Adams drove the motorcycle into the carpark of the Travelodge next to the Sheldon Arms and parked in a bay, with the passenger getting off the bike and approaching the back wall of the pub.

Ten minutes later, they drove round to the Sheldon Arms car park, placing themselves in position to strike when Kieran left the pub.

At 10.20pm, Kieran and a friend left the Sheldon Arms and were walking across the car park when the motorcycle stopped nearby. The passenger ran over and opened fire at Kieran and his car.

By this time, Kieran was in the driver’s seat and one of the four shots travelled through the rear door of the vehicle and entered the top of Kieran’s back.

Kieran drove immediately to Ashton Police Station where he collapsed as a result of his injuries.

He was found by two off-duty officers who called paramedics who battled unsuccessfully to save his life.

Meanwhile the gang had met at an address in Blackley where they were unaware that Kieran had suffered a fatal injury.

During a phone call to a taxi company, Remi Adams is recorded saying: “Yo Ant, listen, we’ll get him man” – a conversation which was a key piece of evidence.

32-year-old Jace Smith, from Blackley, was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years.

32-year-old Jace Smith, from Blackley, was jailed
for life with a minimum of 30 years.

When Anthony Henry and his gang were looking to hide from the police, his girlfriend Bretony Gallimore booked a hotel room in Ramsbottom specifically for the pair to hide out.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Crompton said: “Anthony Henry is a man who had a simmering need for revenge but wasn’t brave enough to act himself.

“He saw the feud between himself and Kieran as damaging to both his pride and reputation, but when Kieran attempted on several occasions to sort it out, Henry either fled or refused to show.

“Henry was adamant that he wanted to end Kieran’s life, but he was not willing to carry out the attack himself and instead looked to distance himself by use of the trackers and the inclusion of others into the plot.

“As a result, this was an investigation of incredible complexity due to the sheer volume of telephone and tracking data that our officers had to sift through to achieve this successful conviction.

“In fact, I quite early on dubbed this the ‘digital investigation’, due to just how instrumental the data footprint left by Henry and his co-conspirators was in building the case against them.

“The successful conviction of this gang is a testament to the hard work, dedication and ingenuity of our detectives, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the McGrath family got justice for the murder of their son and brother.”