NEWPORT SHOOTING TRIAL: Car ‘shot at from a few yards away’

First published in News

BETWEEN 95 and 100 shotgun pellets were found in a car shot at during an alleged revenge attack on Chepstow Road in Newport last September, a jury heard.

Four Newport men — Lewis Bridge, 23, of Nash Drive; Brogan Hooper, 21, of Feering Street; Ryan Battersby, 25; and Gary Rabjohns, 25, both of no fixed abode — are accused of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to John Phillips, Shanice Francis and Michael Wall, who were travelling in a Ford Ka on September 3 last year.

Rabjohns is also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

All four deny the charges.

Forensic expert Philip Alexander told Newport Crown Court yesterday the pellets were found in the bodywork of the red Ford Ka after it was driven into the Cross Hands Hotel in Newport at 11.30pm on September 3.

He said a shotgun was likely to have been fired between eight and 12 yards away from the car, but Dr Alexander said because of the way shotgun pellets spread once they are fired he could not be more accurate. He also suggested that Mr Phillips, who was seated in the back of the car, had been looking through the rear windscreen because of the way pellets entered his body.

He showed the jury a light blue and white hooded top Mr Phillips was wearing when he was shot and two holes that had been made where pellets entered his body.

The court heard a statement from Dr Charlotte Milligan, who treated him at the Royal Gwent Hospital. She said the pellets were extracted from the back of his head and another eight to 10 inches behind his right shoulder blade.

PC Paul Hawkins, a Gwent Police collision investigator, said his investigation into skid marks along Somerton Road found the Ford Ka had been travelling at 57mph and crashed into the hotel on the corner with Chepstow Road at about 30mph.

But he said there was “no evidence” from his investigations that the two vehicles had been in contact with each other.

PC Richard Wyatt, another collision investigator, said he found the Ford Ka’s shattered cluster lens plastic and glass from its rear windscreen on Somerton Road when he investigated the scene at 7.30am on September 4.

Proceeding.

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