The assassin nicknamed The Iceman has finally admitted the two brutal gangland murders he was told he will die in prison for.
But in a sensational confession from his cell, Mark Fellows denies being a paid hitman – and bleats about acting in self-defence when he gunned down Salford Mr Big Paul Massey and his best friend John Kinsella three years apart.
The 38-year-old had remained silent during his seven-week trial as jurors were told how he sprayed Massey, 55, with 18 bullets from an Uzi sub-machine gun outside his home in 2015.
And he said nothing as the court heard how he used a Webley revolver to blast Kinsella, 53, in 2018 before then firing two shots into his skull from close range.
The contract killings were described as the culmination of a brutal underworld war in Salford.
Fellows – paid £10,000 for the hits – was told he would die behind bars as got a whole life term in December.
But in his astonishing 1,000-word confession from HMP Whitemoor, he has now told the Sunday People: “I am not a contract killer. I wasn’t paid for shooting anyone. I would never do that.
“The reason I shot Paul Massey is because he tried to have me shot at the home I share with my partner and children.
"Massey wanted me harmed or killed and I knew the threat wasn’t going to go away, I knew Massey would keep sending people to my home.
“He left me no choice. I had to protect my wife and children.
"I decided, therefore, to shoot him before he shot me or a member of my family.
"And that is what I did, not for money as they claimed in court, but to protect myself and, more importantly, my family.
“The £10,000 the police found in my house was drug money, not payment for shooting anyone.”
Massey’s murder remained unsolved until Fellows struck again, gunning down Kinsella – who had been a pall bearer at his friend’s funeral.
The mob enforcer was executed as he walked his dogs with his pregnant girlfriend in Rainhill, Merseyside.
Fellows passed the “smoking gun” to pal and lookout Steven Boyle, 35, before fleeing to Amsterdam a few days later.
He was arrested when he returned to Manchester and quizzed over both murders. It was only when detectives recovered data from his Garmin running watch, confirming his movements, that he was convicted.
Massey’s partner, Louise Lydiate, last night slammed Fellows after hearing he had finally broken his silence.
The 51-year-old said: “We’ve always known from day one that he was responsible. Why put us through the torment of a seven-week trial? Why finally admit it now? We’ve been through hell.”
As Fellows was told he would die behind bars at sentencing, Mr Justice Davis said the only “sensible conclusion is that you were a gun for hire prepared to kill whoever you were asked to kill by those who hired you”.
But Fellows claims it all started after Massey tried to kill him when he started dealing drugs on the Mr Big’s patch. He claims that in February 2015 he was at his home in Weaste, Salford, with his wife and kids when a hitman posing as a scrap metal man turned up.
He says he was asked to come out and move his car and had a gun pulled on him.
Fellows said: “As soon as the guy saw me he pulled out a gun, pointed it at me and pulled the trigger. If my children had been home they could have been standing at the door with me so I was shocked and angry.
"Fortunately, the gun failed to fire and the man ran away. I had no idea why anyone would want to shoot me. I asked people if they knew of anyone who may have a problem with me.
“A man I trust said Massey was behind the incident. He added that Massey had targeted me because I was selling drugs on what he regarded as his patch.
"I was selling drugs but so what? So was he. Another man told me Massey had been telling people I was ‘going to get it’ because I was friends with people he had a problem with.”
Fellows, who was on licence from a sentence for robbery, claims detectives knew he was behind Massey’s murder and recalled him to prison. He claims Kinsella was offering lags £20,000 to knife him in HMP Altcourse.
Fellows was freed after 22 months and claims Kinsella had threatened “revenge” for Massey’s murder. He said: “After Massey died, his gang did come back for me. They shot me in the street outside my home.
“The police were told I had shot Massey and they thought I would go after the people who had shot me and so they made sure I was recalled to prison. I had been on licence from an earlier sentence and the police claimed being shot breached my conditions.
“It was an excuse to keep me off the streets. A month before my release from Altcourse in Liverpool I was told Massey’s best friend Kinsella was offering up to £20,000 to stab me.
“Kinsella was from Liverpool and he was well-known for bullying and intimidating people.
“He had obviously heard I had killed Massey and was planning to seriously harm or kill me.
“I know this doesn’t sound good but Kinsella, like Massey, was a serious threat to me and my family, so I had to act first. What man wouldn’t?
“I was released from prison in August 2017 but the authorities wouldn’t allow me to live in Salford.
“I moved to Warrington, got a job, 12-hour night shifts, making ready meals for supermarkets. I wanted to keep my head down and get on with my life.
"However, I soon discovered that Kinsella lived nearby. He was telling everyone he wanted revenge for Massey. So rather than wait for him to find me, I shot him too.
“That is what happened and that is why I did what I did. I have no reason to lie because I have nothing to gain and nothing to lose.”
Fellows was convicted when his Forerunner watch – worn on a Manchester 10k run in 2015 – showed he had carried out a reconnaissance mission in the days before Massey’s murder.
It was the first time data from a GPS tracker had been used to help convict a killer.
At Liverpool crown court, Fellows was found guilty of both murders and Boyle was convicted of murdering Kinsella after acting as a spotter for Fellows. He was sentenced to a minimum 33 years.
Last week Fellows launched an appeal against his whole life sentence, claiming he was not a contract killer. Now he has also rejected the nickname of the Iceman that was heard in court.
He said: “My whole life sentence was a clear message from the judge in court to others thinking about using guns.
“The prosecution made things up about me in court, claiming without any evidence that I was a contract killer, known by my friends as ‘The Iceman’.
“Nobody has ever called me the Iceman.”
‘He’s evil, winding us up from jail’
Paul Massey’s partner last night branded his killer “evil”, blasting: “Why is he doing this to us?”
Louise Lydiate, 51, wept as she spoke of the agony of losing him in a hit. And she denied Massey, 55, was involved in drugs, insisting he was a “peacekeeper” who helped clean Salford’s streets of them. Mum-of-two Louise said: “I don’t buy any of Fellows’s confession.
“It’s all about trying to get off his whole life sentence. I find it so distressing. He’s known from the start – why put us through all this? The trial lasted three months.
“We had to face him every day, knowing what he had done. He was the last one to see Paul alive and we’ve been through so much trauma. This just brings up all the pain. It never goes away but sometimes I have a moment where I feel normal again and try to get on with things.
“Then he does things like put an appeal in and it breaks my heart again. How can he appeal? He carried out two murders in cold blood. He’s trying to wind us up from behind bars. He’s an evil man. He’s shown no remorse.”
On claims Massey’s murder was part of a turf war, she said: “It’s almost laughable. Paul was a grandad. That stage of his life was over. He had moved on. He was a peacemaker.”
‘Nobody’ who shot Mr Big
For years, Paul Massey was notorious as the Mr Big of Salford’s underworld.
But his brutal end came when a gangland feud erupted on his doorstep. He was hit by a hail of bullets as he stepped out of his BMW at 7.27pm on July 26, 2015.
Gunman Mark Fellows was generally thought to be a gangland “nobody” before the hit. But he was capable of cold-blooded murder – with prosecutors saying he was nicknamed the Iceman.
Leaving Massey dying just feet from his front door, Fellows calmly walked back down the driveway and escaped.
Two weeks after killing Massey, he was shot in the backside outside his nan’s house. He was discharged from hospital the next day, after a scan, clearly a marked man.
Police suspected Fellows early because of the movements of his van and his phone but Massey’s killing remained unsolved for three years. The violent feuding on the streets continued but Fellows probably believed he had got away with murder.
And while the investigation stalled, Fellows struck again.
This time, he murdered Massey’s friend, convicted armed robber, gangland fixer and one-time international fugitive John Kinsella, a frightening and muscular 18-stone martial arts enthusiast.
Kinsella and his pregnant partner Wendy Owen were walking their six large American bulldogs through woodland on May 5, 2018.
One of them, Tonto, was proving more difficult than the others to control as they walked along a path by the M62.
It was then that Fellows, masked, wearing a hi-vis jacket and riding a mountain bike, appeared. He cycled up to them, stopped and opened fire with a Webley revolver without getting off his bike.
Just as he had done three years earlier, Fellows made sure the job was done. He cycled closer to his prone target and fired two more shots at him – this time to the back of his head, like a practised assassin.
After riding off, Fellows gave the gun to his friend Steven Boyle before cycling to his then home in Warrington.
Fellows spent the afternoon after the murder with his mother at the Trafford Centre, eating at a Zizzi restaurant and buying a pair of £165 Mallet trainers from Tessuti.
Later he met pals in the pub and enjoyed a meal at KFC. He flew out to Amsterdam on holiday a few days later.
But just a few minutes after Fellows’s return flight touched down at Manchester Airport on May 30, officers boarded it and arrested him on suspicion of both murders.
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