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Accused texted victim before shooting, trial told

Rugby Editorial 29th Jan, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

MINUTES before Rugby father-of-three Jordon Banton was shot in the head as he sat in his car, his alleged killer sent him a text to say he was coming, a jury has heard.

It was the last in a series of texts exchanged between Mr Banton and Darrell Akins, who is accused at Warwick Crown Court of firing the fatal shots at close range on July 25 last year.

A series of messages, translated by police from slang and patois, detailed an exchange between Akins and Mr Banton on the morning of the murder about an acquaintance of Mr Banton who was said to have been ‘disrespectful’ towards Akins.

Mr Banton asked Akins to stop texting him, but Akins – who the court had previously heard was owed money by Mr Banton – replied saying he wanted to meet up and wanted his money.

Within minutes of getting Akins’ last message Mr Banton left his home in Spellow Close – and at 11.40am he was killed by someone who walked over to him with a pump-action or self-loading shotgun as he sat in his car in Newton Road.

The court also heard that mobile phone ‘cell site’ analysis showed Mr Banton had been called by his alleged killer just minutes before his death.

An expert analysis showed Darrell Akins’ two phones could have been at the scene of the crime, and their use was consistent with the route the police believe he took from the scene of the killing.

Earlier in the trial the court heard Mr Banton was shot three times in his Seat Leon car in Newton Road – allegedly by Akins while Paul Clarke acted as getaway driver.

Akins, 28, of Follager Road, Rugby, and Clarke, 35, of Bluebell Close, Rugby, have both pleaded not guilty to the murder.

Paul Spratt, for the prosecution, told the court that in Akins’ first police interview he said he knew nothing of the murder and then answered ‘no comment’ to all further questions he was asked in a total of three police interviews.

Clarke also told officers that he knew nothing of the murder and replied ‘no comment’ during interviews.

Mr Spratt said Clarke had told police he could not believe it when his uncle called him to tell him Jordon was dead.

But Mr Spratt added: “He said before that he had not really heard anything about the shooting, then said he had heard nothing at all, in fact.” said Mr Spratt.

The trial continues.

LAST week’s story ‘Accused toted shotgun before killing trial told’, referred to Warwick Alexander driving a car. Mr Alexander was a passenger and not the driver. We apologise for any confusion caused.

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