Leicester man was part of revenge attack where wrong man killed, court told
A man from Leicester was part of a group that organised and carried out a revenge attack which killed the wrong man, a court heard.
Leroy Smith, of Boulder Lane, Saffron Lane, Leicester, is one of nine defendants on trial for the murder of David Gower.
A court was told the group formed after a builder, Gary Rahim, was beaten up by a man, Luigi Prota, to whom he owed money.
It heard Rahim then arranged to have the group of men carry out the attack.
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But Warwick Crown Court was told they shot and stabbed the wrong person – killing Mr Gower, who had previously helped Rahim and gone with him to hospital.
The nine men have all pleaded not guilty to murder and also deny conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm on Mr Prota, with intent to cause him serious injury.
Andrew Lockhart QC, prosecuting, said Mr Gower was also the "friend and helper" of Mr Prota, at whose home in Bulkington, Warwickshire, he lived.
He said: "The Crown's case is that Mr Rahim fell out with Mr Prota and arranged that a group of men would go and subject Mr Prota to a very severe assault using what turned out to be lethal weapons.
"Several of the defendants came together from different places around the country and moved to assault Mr Prota at his home address on Sunday, June 26, last year.
"As Mr Prota and his friends were at the property, four of these men burst in and made their way to the rear of the property, where Mr Prota was to be found.
"As they made their way towards where he was, Mr Gower stood in their way.
"It is possible they didn't know who their intended target was and they began a vicious assault on him.
"It took the form of a stabbing, a beating and he was shot in the side with an expanding bullet.
"He suffered many stab wounds, which caused him to bleed to death very rapidly."
Mr Lockhart said the firearm, contaminated with Mr Gower's blood, was found at a property in Derby.
Smith was said to be involved in the assault itself.
The defendants are Smith; Gary Rahim (40), of Armstrong Avenue, Coventry; Colin Potter (45), of Hipswell Highway, Coventry; David Simmons (27), of Elm Close, Coventry; Seymour Young (46), from Steadman Court, Old Street, London; Harold Hurst (47) and Mark Francke (43), who may also be known as David Kerr, both of Seymour Road, Derby; Cleavone Fisher (34), from Wilton Road, Crumpsall, Manchester; and Craig Halls (38), of Bessell Lane, Stapleford, Nottingham.
The trial – which is expected to last for at least eight weeks – continues.