Fiancée tells court shotgun death boyfriend was a ‘fitness fanatic’

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THE fiancée of a man gunned down in the street, told a murder trial jury yesterday he was a fitness fanatic who had a regular training routine.

Financial controller Chantelle Carr-Dixon said Gavin Clarke did amateur boxing, running and weights and would spend any spare time training.

On weekdays he could be found in Savile Park, Chapeltown, Leeds using the equipment on the playground there.

The prosecution claims the man who shot him from a car, Afzal Arif, had circled that area on August 8 waiting for information from a friend Sohail Mahmood that Mr Clarke was present.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court, has suggested to the jury a possible motive for the shooting was the knowledge Mr Clarke was unhappy after being told his cousin Hope Gatewood was allegedly being beaten up by her boyfriend and wanted to speak to him about it.

That man was said to be Arif who claims he only intended to scare Mr Clarke with the gun and shot him unintentionally.

Miss Carr-Dixon told the court that Mr Clarke was close to his cousin and she believed that when he said he was annoyed and wanted to speak to the boyfriend that “he would have smacked him”.

On one occasion he shouted at someone from their car that he wanted to speak to him and after the shooting, when she saw Arif in court, she realised it was him that day.

She said the first she heard about her fiancé being shot was receiving a phone call and did not believe it. She then rang Mr Clarke’s phone and when a friend answered it discovered it was true.

She went to the hospital and when she saw Mr Clarke arrive he was still moving and thought he would be okay. The jury has heard he died on August 12.

Chaka Clarke told the jury he had been training with Mr Clarke who suddenly marched off towards a Silver Vectra car which drove away. He then heard a “massive bang” after Mr Clarke walked on into Savile Avenue and from his army days knew it was a shot.

Arif, 23 of Elford Grove, Harehills, Leeds, denies the murder of Mr Clarke but has admitted his manslaughter and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Mahmood, 23 of Savile Road, Chapeltown denies all three charges.

Shahid Hussain, 32 and Sajad Hussain, 28, both of Harrogate Road, Alwoodley, and Ibrar Din, 23 of Mexborough Street, Chapeltown, each deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues on Monday.