Company director accused of conspiracy to murder says threats were ‘just to frighten’

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A company director has told a jury he never planned for any harm to come to his daughter’s ex-partner who he is accused of conspiring to murder.

Colin Deferia, 59, of Battisford Road, Barking, said while he had wanted to ‘scare’ Jonathan Catchpole, physical violence had not figured in his plans.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Deferia said: “I never wanted to harm Mr Catchpole, just to frighten him.”

Threats made to Mr Catchpole, including telling him ‘You’re a dead man’, had been ‘idle’, said Deferia and he had no intention of carrying them out and at the time had been suffering from depression.

Deferia and four other men have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder Mr Catchpole who had previously been in a relationship with Deferia’s daughter which ended in June 2013.

The court heard on the evening of August 4 last year, three men burst into Mr Catchpole’s flat in Bury St Edmunds and one shot him at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun.

Mr Catchpole was airlifted to hospital where during emergency surgery doctors removed 42 shotgun pellets and cartridge wadding from his chest.

Despite his injuries, Mr Catchpole was allowed out of hospital six days later and went on to make a full recovery.

The prosecution allege Deferia had been responsible for intimidation and threats against Mr Catchpole’s life before the shooting took place.

Also on trial are Simon Webber, 31, of Sydenham Close, Bridgwater, Frank Warren, 51, of Victoria Road, Dorchester, Andrew Seaton, 40, of Frome View, Maiden Newton and Paul Baker, 35, of Neils View, Maiden Newton.

Warren, Seaton and Webber, who is alleged to have fired the shotgun, are said to have been the men who had confronted Mr Catchpole while Baker is alleged to have helped organise the attack.

Admitting that he had become ‘obsessed’ with Mr Catchpole, Deferia said the first he knew of the shooting was when he heard it on the radio and was then arrested that evening.

Deferia said while he had asked Baker to ‘scare’ Mr Catchpole, he never asked for any harm to come to him.

Baker was asked to arrange for Mr Catchpole to be scared and said he would ‘sort something out’, said Deferia.

The trial continues.