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Whitbourne shooting trial: gang was not armed, court hears
3:20pm Friday 2nd November 2012 in County
A GANG which raided an isolated property at Whitbourne, near Bromyard, was not armed, defence barristers have told a jury.
There was no evidence that a bullet found in the fascia of Stocking Gobbetts - the smallholding in Stocking Lane, Whitbourne - had been fired by the would-be burglars, said Martin Butterworth at Worcester Crown Court today (Friday).
He suggested it was more likely to have been fired by house-owner Malcolm White, who had already discharged a shotgun and hit 29-year-old Robert Richards in the leg.
Mr Butterworth suggested that there would be sympathy for Richards, who faced the rest of his life with only one leg. But one witness who had not been called for the trial was Mr White.
Richards, of Scholars Gate, and Darren Randall, 25, of Yardley Fields Road, both Birmingham, deny aggravated attempted burglary but have admitted burglary with intent to steal.
Prosecutor Stephen Thomas admitted there were some unanswered questions about the raid but the accused were not just "foot soldiers" not knowing that anybody was carrying a weapon but were officers in an operation to carry out a lucrative burglary.
But Tom Walkling, for Randall, claimed it was not a sophisticated raid professionally planned. Cable ties had been found outside the property but these were not intended to bind the occupants but to secure binbags of cannabis plants.
He suggested that Mr White could have fired the fascia bullet after shooting Richards. Both accused had been tested for gunshot residue with a negative result.
Mr Butterworth said that after Mr White had chased the intruders down the drive, he could have fired a shot from a revolver after seeing shadowy figures near his garage. The shotgun used against Richards had never been found.
Judge Abbas Mithani QC has begun his summing up and the jury will return on Monday.
They have still to return a verdict on the aggravated attempted burglary charge.