Leeds murder accused tells jury he did not shoot Christopher Lewis

Police at the scene of the incident on Reginald Street, Chapeltown.
Police at the scene of the incident on Reginald Street, Chapeltown.
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A MAN accused of murdering a Leeds gang member told a jury he was in a nearby park at the time of the killing and ran away after hearing shots.

Christopher Lewis, 24, died after being shot in the head outside his home on Reginald Street in Chapeltown just after 7pm on August 1 last year.

A Leeds Crown Court jury has been told Mr Lewis was a member of The Flock gang and was killed revenge “execution” during a dispute between rival gangs.

Giving evidence, murder trial defendant Steven Grey, 38, said he was at the edge of Reginald Park at the time with his co-accused Jonathan Gledhill, 38.

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The jury was told the two men had gone to Chapeltown to buy drugs.

Grey's barrister David Brooke asked him: "How were you feeling about what you heard? You said you heard shots."

Grey replied: "I was confused more than anything, I didn't know if it was for me or somebody was chasing us. I didn't have a clue."

Grey said he had seen a silver coloured car in the area which kept slowing down, adding: "I put it together with somebody I saw in the park, I thought it was somebody chasing."

Mr Brooke asked Grey: "Are you somebody who is prepared to go and kill?"

Grey replied: "Definitely not. I didn't know him. I have never seen him . I have never laid eyes on him."

Mr Brookes asked Grey: "Did you shoot Christopher Lewis?"

Grey replied: "No, definitely not."

Mr Brooke asked: "Were you a member of any gang?"

Grey: "No."

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Mr Brooke asked Grey: "As far as these Chapeltown issues, Flock and anti Flock, has that got anything to do with you?"

Grey replied: "No."

The jury previously heard Jonathan Gledhill give his evidence when he denied having anything to do with the shooting.

Gledhill described how he saw his co-accused Steven Grey with a gun moments before the shooting on August 1 last year.

The prosecution claims Gledhill’s role in the killing was to help Grey by acting as a “spotter” as the two men followed Mr Lewis before the shooting took place.

Gledhill, of Dib Lane, Roundhay and Grey, of Town Street, Armley, both deny murder.

Lewis Pearce, 27, of no fixed address; Denzil Browne (Junior), 23, of Oaklands Crescent, Gipton, and Owen Clarke, 26, of Haw Avenue, Yeadon, are also on trial accused of assisting an offender, which they deny.

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Denzil Brown (Senior), 49, of Parkfield Court, Morley, had been standing trial accused of Mr Lewis's murder.

On Tuesday (July 9), The Recorder of Leeds Judge Guy Kearl QC, ruled that there was no case for Denzil, Brown (Senior) to answer and he was allowed to leave the dock.

Judge Kearl told the jury: "While you have been waiting I have been listening to a submission on behalf of Denzil Emmerson Brown that there is no case for him to answer. ""

" I have decided that there is insufficient evidence whereby a reasonable jury, properly directed, could convict.

"That is why he will take no further part in this trial and is no longer sat in the dock.

"The prosecution has started to appeal my decision to the Court of Appeal in London and are entitled to do that.

"However, launching such an appeal and having it heard takes some considerable time. Given the time involved, where we have reached in the trial and the fact that Mr Gledhill is in the middle of his evidence I have decided that the prosecution can pursue their appeal but Denzil Emmerson Brown will play no further part, we will continue without him and his legal team and you will not be required to reach a verdict in his case".

The trial continues.