Three guilty of shotgun murder as son slept

THREE men have been found guilty of murdering a Leeds father, shot in his bathroom as his four-year-old son slept in the next room.

Jordan Stapleton.

A Leeds Crown Court jury yesterday convicted the three gang members of killing Jordan Stapleton – who they believed was a police informant – in a shotgun attack at the house in Beckhill Chase, Meanwood.

The three convicted of murder are Cyrus Hanley, 19, of Miles Hill View, Potternewton; Colin Webster, 19, of Bayswater Row, Harehills; and Luke Toner, 20, of Beckhill Chase, Meanwood,

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The jury was today due to continue deliberating on a fourth defendant, Jake Looby, 19, of Miles Hill Street, Potternewton. Looby denies murder.

Leeds Crown Court heard the men – who called themselves the S Gang – boasted about the attack by text and on Facebook before and after the killing. Among messages later discovered by police were “S Gang, Bang Bang” and “I smoked that guy.”

A recording of a 999 call which the prosecution allege one of the men made soon after the killing, on April 16, was played to the court. In it, an anonymous caller claims to have heard a shot coming from the house as he was walking past. Prosecutors claim Looby made the call, disguising his voice then hanging up after refusing to give his name.

The jury was told the defendants believed Mr Stapleton was a “grass” who was responsible for Hanley’s recent arrest for drugs offences. Mr Stapleton and Hanley were cousins and had been close friends until shortly before the incident. Asked if he had killed Mr Stapleton, Hanley told police: “I would never smoke my own family, no way.”