A Suffolk businessman is among five men who have been found guilty of a murder attempt in Bury St Edmunds.
Colin Deferia, 59, of Battisford Road, Barking was convicted of conspiring to murder Simon Catchpole following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in May.
Because of legal restrictions Deferia’s guilty verdict could not be reported at the time but the restriction has now been lifted.
Deferia was accused of paying for three men to storm into the flat of Jonathan Catchpole in Forum Court, Bury St Edmunds to carry out what the prosecution claimed amounted to an “assassination” in August last year.
Mr Catchpole was shot at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun and suffered a chest wound from which doctors removed 42 shotgun pellets.
The three men accused of carrying out the attack, Andrew Seaton, 40, of Frome View, Maiden Newton, Dorset; Frank Warren, 51, of Victoria Road, Dorchester and Simon Webber, 31, of Sydenham Close, Bridgwater were also found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
Paul Baker, 35, of Neil’s View, Maiden Newton who acted as a go-between to help organise the shooting, was convicted of the same offence.
During the trial it was alleged that Baker, Seaton, Warren and Webber had all “lent themselves readily” to the plan to kill Mr Catchpole for which they were to be paid £12,500 by Deferia.
The jury heard how after the shooting at Forum Court on August 4 last year, a car used by his attackers was found burned out and attempts had been made by Deferia to falsely allege the involvement of Mr Catchpole in drug offences.
Prior to the attack, Deferia had made a number of threats to Mr Catchpole and after the shooting tried to falsely accuse Mr Catchpole of drug offences, claimed prosecutor Andrew Jackson.
While Deferia and Baker gave evidence in their own defence, the other three defendants declined to enter the witness box.
Deferia claimed that while he had wanted to ”scare” Mr Catchpole, he had never intended him any harm and had been unaware of the attempt on his life until hearing a report the following day on local radio.
All five defendants, who are remanded in custody, are to be sentenced at a later date.