Murder jury hears recording of gunshots - The Rugby Observer
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Murder jury hears recording of gunshots

Rugby Editorial 15th Jan, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THE GUNSHOTS which killed Jordon Banton have been heard by the jury at his murder trial via a CCTV recording, along with an eyewitness account of the shooting.

The jury also heard Mr Banton ‘did not appear worried or bothered’ when he left his home just minutes before he was shot in the head in broad daylight.

A jury at Warwick Crown Court has heard the 23-year-old was killed at close range in July last year.

The prosecution has alleged three shots from a 12-bore shotgun were fired – as Mr Banton sat in his car in Newton Road, near Rugby – by Darrell Akins, while Paul Clarke acted as get-away driver.

But Akins, 28, of Follager Road, Rugby, and Clarke, 35, of Bluebell Close, Rugby, have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of the father-of-two on July 25 last year.

Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC said the shooting was seen by Dennis Jones as he was driving along Newton Road.

Mr Jones saw a silver car parked on the road with the rear passenger door partly open, and a red car parked close to the grass verge ahead of the silver car.

Mr Smith said the red car was Mr Banton’s Seat Leon, and the other was Akins’s hired silver-blue Vauxhall Insignia.

He told the jury: “Mr Jones saw a man dressed in black and wearing a black cap holding what he thought was a rifle with a single barrel. The man moved towards the red car, and he fired.

“After the initial shot or shots the red car was seen to swerve violently across the road, ending up in the ditch on the off-side of the road.

“Mr Jones then saw the man in black walk across to the red car and fire once more. He was of course observing the shooting of Jordon Banton.

“After firing at the car in the ditch, the man with the gun became aware of Mr Jones and relatively quickly got into the rear of the silver car, and the car drove off.”

Mr Smith said Nigel Green, who lived near Newton Road, checked his home CCTV system after hearing about the shooting. It had captured the sound of three gunshots within 17 seconds of each other, beginning just after 11.40am.

Mr Banton suffered two shotgun wounds – including a fatal shot to the head.

PC Ashley Cooper, a search officer with West Mercia Police, told the court that two days after the killing he found a shotgun cartridge during a search of Akins’ home.

Earlier Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC had told the jury that components of the cartridge, including writing on the wadding, were found to match the three found at the scene of the shooting.

Mr Banton’s partner Sarah Nicholson said in a statement read to the jury that Mr Banton received a message on his phone on the morning of the shooting.

She said: “He told me he was going out to sort something. He did not appear worried or bothered.”

When he was interviewed by the police, Akins denied being involved in the murder, after which he answered ‘no comment’ to further questions.

The jury heard his defence is that he had lent the Insignia to a man he knew as Lawks.

But Mr Smith said the only place that name could be found was in the phone directory on the Insignia’s inbuilt system – and when it was checked it was found the number was that of a 15-year-old girl.

Clarke also denied being involved in the shooting, and said he had spent the morning at his parents’ home in Copeland, Brownsover, before going to his cousin’s home where he remained until after midnight.

The trial continues.

The jury heard Jordon Banton ‘did not appear worried or bothered’ when he left his home just minutes before he was shot.

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