Mistaken identity murderer jailed
A man who gunned down a drinker in a Birmingham pub in a case of mistaken identity has been jailed for life.
Paul Davies, aged 34, from Moorend Avenue Sheldon, shot father of two Marlon O’Reilly five times as he drank with friends in the Dovecote Pub in Cockshut Hill, Yardley, on May 10 2013 – the day before his 34th birthday.
Davies was found guilty of murder following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Mr Justice Popplewell ordered the killer remain behind bars for a minimum of 31 years before being considered for release.
He said: “You were in the pub for less than 45 seconds. It was a pre-planned and calculated execution.
“This was a pre-meditated assassination of a kind and gentle man who had done nothing to bring it upon himself.”
West Midlands Police said Mr O’Reilly, from Sheldon, was a victim of mistaken identity because he was wearing a similar T-shirt to the intended target.
Davies had carried out the murder as revenge after he had been attacked by a group of three men at the G&A Fitness Centre gym in Garretts Green earlier in the day, a police spokesman said.
Davies was arrested at Birmingham Airport as he got off a plane from Thailand on May 29.
Det Insp Warren Hines described Davies as a “cold and calculated” killer and said: “He went into the pub that night with the intention of seeking revenge but ultimately got the wrong person.
“At the time of the attack the pub was full of families from the local area. Davies showed a complete disregard to all of their lives by opening fire in such a public place.
“Marlon was a good lad who was not mixed up in criminality and it has made his killing all the more difficult for his family to deal with.”
In statement after sentencing Mr O’Reilly’s family said: “We are thankful that justice has finally been served, we can now begin to grieve for the person we loved so dearly.
“Marlon was a loving, caring and sensitive man. It has brought a deepened sadness to us as a family that the incidents that led to Marlon’s death were not only mindless but also completely unrelated to him.
“We hope this conviction helps people to see that no one is above the law and when people act in such a way justice will be served.
“We would like to thank our family, friends and the wider Sheldon community for continued support without which we believe this ordeal would have been more sombre.
“We would like to thank the liaison officers involved in this case as their support has not only kept us informed but also offered us comfort and solace at such a traumatic time. Finally we would like to thank all the officers who have worked so hard to achieve justice for Marlon.”