NEWPORT SHOOTING TRIAL: Accused's fears for family

A DEFENDANT in a Newport murder plot trial told the jury that he fears for his family's well-being if he were to name the passengers in his car on 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 address, 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 a shooting in Chepstow Road, Newport, on September 3 of last year.

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

Rabjohns giving evidence yesterday refused to name two passengers who were in his VW Golf on the evening of September 3.

One of his friends, whom he refused to name, had borrowed his mobile phone that evening and had bought the Jeep Cherokee which was used in the shooting on the same day.

He said: "The Jeep was a full car, four or five of them.

"One of them wasn't local.

"My friend told me that two shots got fired. I was told that they chased the car down and shot at the car twice and they rammed it into a wall. Nothing got said whether anyone was dead."

Rabjohns told the court that he snapped his SIM card in half after finding out that his phone given to his friend had been used in the Jeep.

The jury was shown a letter which Rabjohns had written to Hooper on October 9 while at Pare Prison.

The letter stated: "Keep your heads up, keep to the same story. People will write you off, you won't be able to come to Newport. Your mam and bro, everyone will be at risk. Just say it was the Mane but just don't say the names."

Rabjohns denied that he was making threats towards his co-defendants merely warning them about threats from other prisoners.

He said: "They were making threats to me at one point. I feared for my family".

Proceeding.

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