A mum was deliberately run over and killed by members of a drugs gang in a “calculated, premeditated revenge slaying”.
Victim Alison McBlain, 36, was thrown 40 feet down the road and suffered “catastrophic” injuries after being hit by a Fiat Punto which mounted the pavement and had its headlights switched off.
She died two days after the horrific attack in Blackburn.
The day before the attack, which happened in November 2019, Ms McBlain and a 28-year-old man, who was also injured, had arranged to buy £60 worth of drugs from Dean Qayum and Kaylib Connolly.
Qayum and Connolly were part of a drug dealing gang known as the ‘Bully Line’, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Ms McBlain and the man took the drugs and left without paying, and members of the gang encouraged associates to tell them if they knew where the pair were.
Karis Poynton saw Ms McBlain in a pharmacy in Blackburn and alerted the gang.
Ms McBlain was hit by the Fiat at about 7.45pm on November 19, 2019, on King Street in the town.
Lancashire Police said they believe Connolly was driving the car.
Qayum and another man called Joshua Titterington were said to be passengers.
Police said another man, John Chatwood, was not present but played a ‘key part in organising the attack’.
The Fiat was later found by police abandoned and partially burnt out.
Officers were still able to recover forensic evidence from the car, and also used CCTV and mobile phone analysis.
Judge Sir Peter Openshaw passed sentence at Preston Crown Court earlier today.
Connolly, 19 and Qayum, 21, of Blackburn, were both found guilty of the murder of Ms McBlain and the attempted murder of the 28-year-old man.
Both received life sentences, with Connolly having to serve a minimum of 14 years and Qayum a minimum of 20 years.
Titterington, 27, of Blackburn and Poynton, 28, of Clayton-le-Moors, were both found guilty of the murder of Ms McBlain and attempted GBH in relation to the 28-year-old man.
They both received life sentences, with Titterington ordered to serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years, and Poynton a minimum of 13 years.
Chatwood, 26, of Blackburn, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Ms McBlain and not guilty of the attempted murder of the 28-year-old man. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail.
A 16-year-old boy from Blackburn, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder.
After the hearing, DCI Lee Wilson, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “Alison McBlain – a mother, daughter and beloved friend to many – was deliberately run over and killed in a calculated, premeditated revenge slaying.
“Poynton played a key role initially, when she saw the victims and made a phone call to one of the Bully Line Jon-Paul Chatwood with their location. She knew full well they were the targets of a revenge attack when she made the call.
“Those in the car knew what would happen when, moments later, they switched off the car’s headlights and deliberately drove at the pair in the dark. The car became a murder weapon, with the victims having no warning or time to get out of the way.
“Those in the car fled the scene, before abandoning the car down an alleyway nearby.
“Sadly, Alison died from her injuries just two days after the attack.
“As a result of her death a 13-year-old boy has lost his mother, while her family and friends have been left utterly heartbroken.
“They have also been put through the ordeal of a trial because the offenders refused to admit what they had done.
“The pain caused to Alison’s loved ones cannot be overstated and they must be commended for showing great dignity throughout this whole difficult process. We hope they can now take some comfort in knowing five people are behind bars.
“I am pleased that the jury reached guilty verdicts for the parts that five of the defendants played in the attack and am satisfied with the sentences handed down by Sir Peter Openshaw DL. I hope they use their time in jail to reflect on their abhorrent actions.
“I would also like to offer sincere thanks to colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and to the prosecuting counsel for their hard work throughout this process.”