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Five people sentenced to over 60 years in prison in connection with murder of Michael Rainsford


Merseyside Police has welcomed the sentencing of five people in connection with the murder of Michael Rainsford in #Litherland last year.


The five were sentenced to a total of over 60 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court today, Friday, 12 March, after all being found guilty following a trial.


-Michael Foy, 22, of Rossini Street, #Seaforth, was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life in prison to serve a minimum of 30 years.


-James Foy, 18, of Rossini Street, Seaforth, was found guilty of murder and possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to life in prison to serve a minimum of 28 years. He was given five years to run concurrently for the firearms offence which was not linked to the murder.


-Andrea Saunderson, 47, of Rossini Street, Seaforth was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to one year and six months (suspended for two years) and given a rehabilitation order.


-Joyce Smith, 45, of Rossini Street, Seaforth, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to two years and six months.


-Craig Johnson, 39, of Willard Drive, #Bootle, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to three years.


At around 11.10pm on Tuesday, 11 April 2020, officers were called to Harrington Road following reports a man had been shot through his kitchen window.


Emergency services attended and the victim, 20-year-old Michael, was taken to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.


Following an investigation, Michael and James Foy were arrested on suspicion of murder and Saunderson, Smith and Johnson were all later arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.


Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Clifton John Williams said: “Michael’s murder has completely devastated his family and friends, who are still coming to terms with his loss and the brutal way in which he was killed, and I hope today’s sentencing goes some way to comforting them as they continue to move forward with their lives.”


“The Foy brothers targeted Michael as revenge, after wrongly believing he had been involved in an incident earlier that night, during which a brick was thrown through the window of their mothers house. In the weeks and months following, Saunderson, Smith and Johnson, all relatives of the brothers, became involved in the aftermath, with Saunderson storing clothes, Smith damaging her phone and SIM card, and Johnson storing a bike used by the brothers.“


“Following an extensive investigation, all five were linked to the crime and arrested and charged. James Foy was also found to be linked to a firearm recovered in Bootle some months earlier. They denied their involvement, however, were all found guilty following a trial, and will all now thankfully spend a significant amount of time behind bars for their despicable actions.”


“The use firearms or weapons to cause fear or violence is completely reckless and unacceptable, and individuals involved in serious and organised crime, who use firearms and other weapons to cause fear or violence, have no place in our communities. And no regard for the lives their reckless and unacceptable actions can affect.”


“Information from the public is vital in bringing these people to justice, and so I would like to encourage our communities to continue to come forward and speak to us, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, if you have information on criminality in your area.


“Finally I would like to thanks Michael’s family for the strength they have shown throughout the duration of the investigation and trial. They will no doubt live with the pain of losing him for a long time to come, however I hope they feel like today’s sentencing has gone some way to obtaining justice for Michael.”


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