Accused toted shotgun before Rugby killing, trial told - The Rugby Observer
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Accused toted shotgun before Rugby killing, trial told

Rugby Editorial 21st Jan, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THE MAN accused of shooting dead Rugby father Jordon Banton in broad daylight had brandished a shotgun and argued about the victim the night before he was killed, it has been claimed.

Darrell Akins, 28, of Follager Road, Rugby, and 35-year-old Paul Clarke of Bluebell Close, Rugby, have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of the 23-year-old father-of-three.

Giving evidence at Warwick Crown Court, Rugby man Warwick Alexander, a friend of Mr Banton and Akins, said the night before Mr Banton died he was out with Clarke and another friend and the trio were joined by Akins and another man on a motorbike.

They drove to Banbury after Akins had an angry phone call and Akins then left his motorbike in the garden of a house before getting in the back of the car Mr Alexander was driving carrying a black case.

They went to another house where Akins began to have a shouting match with a young black man from the car and he then pulled a shotgun from the case, Mr Alexander continued.

“All I heard was a click, click sort of noise,” he said. “I was scared. I didn’t want to be there.”

He said on their way back to where the motorbike had been left, Akins received a phone call in which he argued about Mr Banton.

“That was the first time the name Jordon had been brought up,” Mr Alexander said. “Darrell said it, and I asked him who Jordon was and he said Jordon Banton.”

Akins and Clarke stand accused of the murder of Mr Banton, who the prosecution claim was callously blasted in the head with a shotgun at close range in front of eye-witnesses on Friday July 25 last year.

It is alleged three shots were fired at him as he sat in his Seat Leon car in Newton Road, near Rugby, by Darrell Akins, while Paul Clarke acted as his getaway driver.

Akins’ barrister Adrian Redgrave QC accused Alexander of lying about the shotgun and said he had exaggerated the extent of Akins’ behaviour.

He pointed out inconsistencies in his police statement regarding who had been driving the car to which Mr Alexander said he had been scared about what he should say.

Earlier in the trial, firearms expert Anthony Gallagher told the court an unfired cartridge found at Akins’ home had been in the same shotgun as the three which killed Mr Banton, rejecting a defence claim they were from separate weapons.

Mr Gallagher said the three fired cartridges ‘had at some stage in their life been cycled through the same weapon as the unfired cartridge’ and said he found no markings to suggest any of the four cartridges had been in more than one weapon.

Akins’ barrister, Mr Redgrave, insisted as the gun itself had never been found there were several reasons why the four cartridges could have been through the same weapon without being fired.

But the firearms expert said: “It is a possibility, although not one I would consider in this instance.”

The trial continues.

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