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Early Doors

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First episode dateMay 12, 2003
Final episode dateOctober 18, 2004
Creators Craig Cash
Networks BBC
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About Early Doors

Comedy series set in a small Manchester pub, co-written by and starring Craig Cash.

Ashley Dale: The WhatsApp voice notes that helped solve a murder

Jun 23,2023 5:10 pm

By Lauren HirstBBC News

In The Final months of her life, 28-year-old Ashley Dale voiced her mounting fears and anxieties in Voice Notes to her friends.

These messages would prove instrumental in convicting those responsible for her cold-blooded Murder - Some of these Voice Notes were sent just 30 Minutes before she was shot dead.

" It's the First Time I have ever seen The Evidence of the Murder victim play such a crucial role in a court case, " said Det Ch Insp Cath Cummings, who was the senior investigating officer.

" Ashley was narrating her own story and events that led up to her death. "

Ms Dale, who was not The Intended target of The Attack , was shot in her home in the Old Swan area of Liverpool.

A gunman armed with a Skorpion machine pistol kicked down The Door and fired indiscriminately in the Early Hours of 21 August 2022.

Four men have been at Liverpool Crown Court .

Det Ch Insp Cummings said Ms Dale's Mobile Phone , found just an " arm's length away from her" had been " significant" in helping detectives piece together what had happened and why.

" I have never in my experience heard a victim's voice telling you what is happening, what is going on in their life that's paralleling what you are obtaining and looking at evidentially, " She Said .

" You've actually got a victim telling you. "

The Trial heard how Ms Dale's partner, Lee Harrison , who was not in The House at The Time , had been The Intended target of The Shooting due to a long-standing feud, which had been reignited at Glastonbury.

Det Ch Insp Cummings said Ms Dale's Voice Notes meant she was " able to narrate all The Way back to June and What Happened in Glastonbury and events that ultimately led all The Way up to The Moment that she was killed".

As tensions began growing between the two groups involved in The Feud , Ms Dale shared her fears with her friends,

'Harrowing to listen to'

In messages to a friend on 1 August, She Said : " I don't want to have to go to Lee's funeral next and I just have a bad, bad feeling about everything.

" Me nerves are gone, when am out in The Car with Lee just feeling like I'm looking Over Me shoulder all The Time . "

In played to The Court , Ms Dale told another friend she had asked Mr Harrison to be " honest about everything" so she could prepare for " the worst".

She added: " I don't normally want to know but I need to know what's going to happen. "

A total of 3,360 exhibits were seized, of which 139 were digital devices but it was the Voice Notes which proved to be The Most telling.

Olivia Travis, the senior crown prosecutor on the case, said: " In my experience of criminal prosecutions, it has been unprecedented for a victim to foretell her own death, which is effectively what she has done through the Voice Notes .

" These Voice Notes were harrowing to listen to and chilling when played to The Jury . "

Ms Dale's step-father Robert Jones , who has known her since the Age Of 12, described listening to the messages as " harrowing, really distressing and upsetting but also absolutely necessary".

" It's something that we knew Early Doors from The Police who informed us about how integral it was to The Investigation , " He Said .

" It's hard to really put yourself in that position and sit there listening to it.

" But Ashley's Voice Notes have been the only aspect of truth that have been spoken throughout the duration of this trial. "

Her mother Julie Dale described The Past year and Her Daughter 's death as " utterly senseless".

" There's no words to describe how her life has been ended in such a brutal way, " She Said .

" She'd just been promoted. She was happy. We celebrated it Two Weeks before. We toasted to a new job.

" There's a massive void now where nothing's going to replace Ashley ever. "

Source of news: bbc.com

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