A murderer dubbed The Icemen has finally admitted to two brutal gangland killings.

Mark Fellows, 38, confessed to shooting a man known as Mr Big Paul Massey from Salford and his friend John Kinsella but denied he was a paid hitman instead claiming he was acting in self defence.

It was revealed during his trial Fellows riddled Massey with 18 bullets from an Uzi sub-machine gun outside his home in 2015.

The jury also heard how he murdered Kinsella with a Webley revolver in 2018 before shooting him in the skull twice at close range.

It was claimed he was paid £10,000 for each hit but the thug who will spend the rest of his life in prison denied he was a hitman in an astonishing letter sent to the Sunday People.

The lag at HMP Whitemoor said: “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.

When Fellows was sentenced to life behind bars 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.”