Three men arrived at a flat in Bury St Edmunds to carry out a contract killing after months of careful planning, a court has been told.
After shooting their target in the stomach, the three fled back to their homes in Dorset and Somerset and tried to cover their tracks by attempting to make the attack appear to be drug-related, it has been claimed.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court today heard allegations that £12,500 had been paid by a Suffolk man for the shooting to be carried out because he wanted to end a family dispute.
The injured man, who for legal reasons can only be referred to as D, suffered a serious shotgun wound to his stomach and required emergency surgery but has now “miraculously” made a full recovery, said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.
The attack on the evening of August 4 last year had seen three men armed with a sawn-off double barrelled shotgun “storm” into D’s flat before he was shot as one of the men shouted: “B wants you dead”, alleged Mr Jackson. B will be the subject of separate proceedings.
After the shooting, a stolen car alleged to have been used by the men was set on fire with the shotgun inside in a bid to destroy evidence, the jury was told.
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; Paul Baker, 35, of Neil’s View, Maiden Newton and a fifth man, aged 59, who lives in Suffolk but who for legal reasons can only be referred to as A.
All five men have pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to murder.
Mr Jackson told the jury that the prosecution alleged that A had contacted Baker who then recruited Webber, Seaton and Warren to carry out a contract killing which they had “leant themselves readily” to doing.
Preparations for what the court heard described as “an assassination” included tracking the alleged victim and his relatives, said Mr Jackson. He said: “Over about a year careful and meticulous plans for an assassination were made.”
After the shooting, D had been “left for dead” by Webber, who had been carrying the shotgun, and Warren and Seaton, said Mr Jackson.
The prosecution have claimed that shortly after the shooting, one of the three men who had travelled to Bury St Edmunds made a phone call to Baker to confirm what they had done.
The trial continues.