A woman has told a jury that she felt ‘constantly watched’ after her brother, who was later shot in an alleged murder plot in Bury St Edmunds, moved in with her.
Sarah Spinks said she also received a hand delivered letter written in red ink which said: “This is your last chance. You know what you’ve done. Shut your mouth or see what happens. That’s a promise.”
Mrs Spinks told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that her brother Jonathan Catchpole moved into her family home in Colchester following the breakdown of his relationship with Rebecca Deferia in June 2013.
Deferia, of Carnation Way, Red Lodge, is accused of having plotted with her father and four other men to have Mr Catchpole killed.
She has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder between August 2014 and August 2015.
Mr Catchpole was shot at close range with a sawn-off shotgun after three men burst into his flat in Forum Court, Bury, on August 4, 2015.
Despite having 40 shotgun pellets and cartridge wadding removed fom his chest, Mr Catchpole survived.
The prosecution allege he was left for dead by his would-be assassins.
Giving evidence, Mrs Spinks said she developed a feeling that she was being constantly watched, and followed when she left her home, after her brother moved in.
She told the court: “I felt physically sick and scared. I was so concerned that something was going to happen. I’d never experienced anything like that in my life.”
Police officers later visited Mrs Catchpole to say they had been keeping watch following anonymous calls to Crimestoppers alleging that the house was being used for drug dealing but had realised that the claims were untrue.
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said it was alleged that false allegations of involvement with drugs had been made to deflect police away from the real reason for the shooting of Mr Catchpole.
Mr Jackson claimed Rebecca Deferia had been ‘at the heart’ of the plot to have Mr Catchpole killed. He said it was ‘inconceivable’ the others involved in the conspiracy would have acted against her express wishes.
Following the ‘acrimonious’ end of his relationship with Deferia, he had been subjected to a string of hostile acts including tyre slashing, threats being made against his life and his clothes being slashed and dumped outside his workplace, said Mr Jackson.
Last year Deferia’s father, Colin Deferia, 60, of Barking, Suffolk, Simon Webber, 32, of Somerset, and Frank Warren, 52, Paul Baker, 35, and Andrew Seaton, 40, all of Dorset, were convicted of conspiring to murder Mr Catchpole.
Today (January 9) Ipswich-based private investigator Barry Parker was called to give evidence for the prosecution.
Mr Parker said he met with Rebecca and Colin Deferia at an address in Suffolk where he was asked to look into the background of Mr Catchpole and members of his family.
Issues he was asked to investigate included possible drug related matters, finances, any convictions and to make contact with Mr Catchpole’s former partner and previous employer.
The trial continues.