THE MURDER trial of a Rugby father-of-two shot in a country lane near Rugby has heard of the alleged build-up to the shooting.
Darrell Akins, 28, of Follager Road, Rugby and Paul Clarke, 35, of Bluebell Close, Rugby, have pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of 23-year-old Jordon Banton, whose body was found in a car near Newton village on July 25 last year.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC told the jury of an escalating dispute between Mr Banton and Akins – who had been close friends – involving the brother of a friend of Mr Banton’s who Akins said had been ‘cheeky and disrespectful’.
Mr Smith also pointed out Mr Banton owed Akins ‘a lot of money’.
Mr Smith told the jury: “At 11.40 in the morning on July 25 last year, in a country lane near Rugby, three shots were fired from a shotgun in the space of 17 seconds.
“Those shots brought with them the murder of Jordon Banton, who died from a shotgun wound to his head from close distance. The prosecution say these two defendants were responsible for the murder.”
Mr Smith continued Mr Banton had been at his Spellow Close home with partner Sarah Nicholson and their children on the day of the shooting when he received a text message. He sent a reply before telling his girlfriend he was ‘going out to sort something’.
Mr Banton was seen driving towards Newton Road by Akins’ former partner Charlotte Flear, at whose Bilton home Akins had spent the previous night.
Mr Smith told the court it was the prosecution’s belief both parties were travelling to the scene of the incident amid “a highly significant series of texts from Mr Akins to Mr Banton”.
In the following minutes, Akins sent two further texts which the prosecution said amounted to a demand to meet Mr Banton and receive the money he claimed he was owed.
The trial continues.