NEWPORT SHOOTING TRIAL: Cars are focus in court

ON THE fifth day of the trial of four men accused of an alleged drive-by shooting, the jury were shown CCTV footage of the night in question.

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 each charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent against John Phillips, Shanice Francis and Michael Wall during an alleged shooting on Chepstow Road, Newport on September 3 of last year.

Rabjohns is also accused with attempting to pervert the course of justice. All four deny the charges.

The prosecution alleges the three victims were travelling in a red Ford Ka when they were followed by a dark-coloured 4x4 car. The Ka was deliberately rammed by the 4x4 and shots were fired hitting the vehicle and forcing it to crash into the Cross Hands Hotel on Chepstow Road.

Yesterday, prosecutor Roger Griffiths called two witnesses to give evidence to Newport Crown Court. Police Constable Simon Reed was responsible for sourcing and sorting through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage as part of the investigation.

The jury were shown excerpts from this footage of vehicles on Lliswerry Road, Chepstow Road and Caerleon Road on the night of the alleged attack. PC Reed said he had been instructed to look for a 4x4 vehicle and a Ford Ka.

Defending barrister Paul Lewis challenged PC Reed on the lack of log notes made relating to a second review of the footage he carried out looking for a VW Golf. Likewise, there were no written instructions made to the identification expert, Andrew Wooler – the second witness called to the stand yesterday. Mr Wooler is a forensic scientist specialising in image analysis and was asked by Gwent Police to review CCTV footage relating to their investigation.

Mr Wooler said: “I specifically ask anyone not to tell me what they or anyone else knows the vehicles in the case to be [...] to avoid confirmation bias.”

Mr Wooler went on to identify a Grand Jeep Cherokee and a red Ford Ka from the footage he was shown.

Mr Lewis argued Mr Wooler’s report was “defective” as he was unable to provide notes supporting the material he had used to make his views and opinions.

Earlier this week, the jury heard that up to 100 shot-gun pellets had been found in the red Ford Ka.

Proceeding.

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