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Accused denies he shot man in the leg
A man accused of shooting another man in the leg, following a feud between two families on the Holme Wood estate in Bradford, told a jury he had only ever used a firearm on a fairground air rifle stall.
Robert Whelan, 31, told Bradford Crown Court yesterday he never had a gun on the night Brian Jackson was shot and did not go near his home.
Father-of-six Mr Jackson was permanently disabled and needed several operations after he was blasted in his right leg with a shotgun, leaving at least 30 pellets embedded in the leg.
The incident happened outside Mr Jackson’s home, in Grayswood Crescent, Holme Wood, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2007.
It took place after an ongoing feud between two families, the Lees and the Carrs, which had included the glassing of Debra Lee in the face by Anthony Carr three months earlier.
The prosecution allege Whelan, who also lived in Grayswood Crescent, with his partner Joanne Lee, shot Mr Jackson when he got in his way as he was after Liam Carr.
The court heard Whelan was arrested in connection with the shooting after handing himself into a police station. He was bailed by a judge, with strict conditions, but went back to his native Ireland and was extradited this July to face trial. He told the jury he had gone to Ireland to protect his partner and children.
Giving evidence yesterday, Whelan said he had drunk up to 30 bottles of lager on New Year’s Eve. That evening he had been in the Moorfield pub, in Cutler Heights Lane, with his partner and sister. He had a conversation with Liam Carr, and shook hands with him. He also spoke to Mr Jackson and his partner and there was no animosity.
Whelan said he had an argument with Joanne when they got home and he walked around the estate for three hours, but did not go to Mr Jackson’s house.
Questioned by his barrister, Rodney Ferm, he denied having a gun with him that night.
Mr Jackson had described the gunman holding the shotgun in his right hand, but Whelan said he was left-handed and had no movement in his left index finger.
He said he had no reason to cause injury to Mr Jackson.
Whelan pleads not guilty to having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, and maliciously wounding Mr Jackson with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.