Sir Michael Fallon's written a letter apologising to the mum of a Tamworth soldier - who was killed by a roadside bomb.
Hayley Pointon Murder: Hit Men Found Guilty
Two hired killers are facing life sentences after being convicted of murdering a 30-year-old mother from Coventry who was gunned down two years ago.
Hayley Pointon was not the intended target of a shooting in Hinckley in February 2013, a two-month trial at Leicester Crown Court was told.
Aaron Power and Aaron Newman both denied murdering Ms Pointon but were found guilty by a jury.
Jurors also convicted Dylan Whitty of assisting an offender.
Commenting after the verdicts, senior investigating officer Tony Yarwood said: ``Power and Newman were essentially hired as hit men - tasked with ending the life of one particular person.
``They planned the hit and recruited others along the way to help them dispose of evidence and flee the scene.
``But the fatal shot they fired that night did not reach their intended target.
``Instead it was Hayley who was in the firing line - a loving mother of two who was the collateral damage of their murder plan.''
Officers were called to the scene shortly after 10.30pm on February 3 2013 following a report that a woman had been shot at an address.
Ms Pointon, who was from Coventry, was found dead inside the house.
CCTV footage, mobile phone records and two vehicles linked 25-year-old Power, originally from Coventry, and 24-year-old Newman, of Attoxhall Road, Coventry, to the offence.
Power and Newman will be sentenced on Monday, while Whitty, aged 30 and also originally from Coventry, will be sentenced on September 8.
Three other men were acquitted of assisting an offender.
Mr Yarwood added: ``This was a difficult, lengthy and complex investigation and today's result is testament to the dedication and commitment of the investigation team whose determination to bring these men to justice never faltered.
``It was a horrific crime which has left two young children without a mother and family without their loving daughter and sister.''
In a statement, Ms Pointon's mother, Kerry Pointon, said: ``It has been a soul-destroying two-and-a-half years since Hayley's death.
``This verdict, although the one we needed and Hayley deserves, is now only the start to us rebuilding our shattered lives without Hayley there.''
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