Dangerous gunman handed life sentence after Tup Tup Palace shooting

21 Sep 2018 14:00 PM

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A dangerous criminal who fired a shotgun outside of a busy Newcastle nightclub has received a life sentence.

Michael Dixon, 50, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life by a jury at the Old Bailey in London last month (August).

The incident happened in June 2015 when a silver motorcycle pulled up outside Tup Tup Palace on St Nicholas Street.

It was 10.30pm on a busy Saturday in the city centre when motorcyclist Dixon brandished a shotgun and fired towards the club, injuring a door supervisor.

Dixon, of Walker, was today (September 21) sentenced to life with a minimum term of eight years.

Northumbria Police’s Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Orchard, said: “Michael Dixon is a dangerous career criminal who showed a complete disregard for the lives of innocent people.

“This was a drive-by shooting at the heart of Newcastle’s bustling night-time economy. He fired a sawn-off shotgun into a crowded place – we could so easily have been dealing with a fatal incident.

“Newcastle is a popular and safe city for both tourists and residents, and thankfully incidents such as these are incredibly rare. We are satisfied that the city is a safer place with Dixon behind bars.

“Today’s sentencing shows Northumbria Police are committed to tackling serious and organised crime which undermines and threatens the fabric of our community.

“I would like to thank the team who worked on this case for their integrity, professionalism and tireless hard work, as well as the many witnesses who came forward and assisted police in this complex investigation.”

As part of the same case, Dixon and John Henry Sayers, 54, were both cleared of conspiracy to murder.

But Sayers, of Walker, was convicted of perverting the course of justice along with Michael McDougall, 50, the latter who was already serving a life sentence in prison.

The court heard McDougall, after meeting Sayers in HMP Wakefield while Sayers was on remand awaiting trial for the Tup Tup Palace shooting, falsely told police he had fired the gun.

However, following interviews, police were satisfied McDougall was not the real gunman and discovered an attempted cover-up between he and Sayers to relieve Dixon of any blame.

A jury found both Sayers and McDougall guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Sayers was jailed for five years, but will serve three-and-a-half years due to time spent on remand.

McDougall, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment consecutive to the life sentence he is currently serving.

D/Ch Supt Orchard added: “Sayers, along with McDougall, tried to manipulate the justice system in the hope of ensuring one of his associates was not prosecuted for a very dangerous offence.

“It was right and proper that all of the evidence was put in front of a jury, and we respect their decisions.

“We act without fear or favour when tackling serious and organised crime across Northumbria, and we will leave no stone unturned when bringing perpetrators to justice.”