Rushden attempted murder: Victim describes moment he was shot

A bricklayer has described the moment he was blasted in the back with a shotgun in a Rushden street.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 12:55 pm
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 2:01 pm
Two men have gone on trial accused of blasting a man in the back with a shotgun on a Rushden street

Keith Phillips told Birmingham Crown Court how he grappled with one masked assailant who ordered a second attacker to “Blow him away.”

The second man, armed with a 12-bore shotgun, allegedly pulled the trigger but the weapon misfired.

Mr Phillips said he then fled the scene but was blasted as he turned his head to see where his attackers were.

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Narinder Sondhi, 36, and Masimba Tinofirei, 19, both deny a charge of attempted murder.

Giving evidence, Mr Phillips admitted drinking up to 18 pints and five bottles of lager overnight between July 4 and 5 last year.

He was walking with pal Russell Danes in Hayway just before 6am when a silver Renault Megane Scenic pulled up beside them.

Mr Phillips told the court: “We were walking down Hayway and talking, trying to get his [Mr Danes] head straight, he was upset about splitting up with his partner.

“A car comes speeding down the other way and slammed its brakes on and reversed back, there was an altercation.

“You could tell there was going to be a problem straight away.

“The passenger got out in an aggressive manner and I knew something was going on.

“They were wearing blue sandwich gloves and balaclavas.

“I walked towards the passenger and he pulled the bottle of beer out of my hand and threw it on the floor.

“I grabbed the passenger by the chest, by the T-shirt.”

Asked by prosecutor Vincent Coughlin QC if the masked man said anything, Mr Phillips said; “yes, he said ‘blow the [expletive] away’.”

It was at that point he said the driver of the car, also masked, pulled a shotgun from the back seat.

Mr Phillips said: “I tried to shield myself with the passenger.

“[The driver] pointed to gun towards me, he tried to pull the trigger, the gun didn’t go off, I don’t know if it jammed or what but I heard the click.”

Mr Phillips said the gunman then tried to batter him with the butt of the shotgun.

“I ran and he was banging it on the floor trying to unjam it, I suppose.

“I was running, I looked around and I couldn’t see him, I turned to look the other way and that’s when the gun went off.”

Mr Phillips was left with shotgun pellets embedded in his scalp and face.

The two attackers then fled the scene.

Mr Phillips told the jury: “I remember hearing the car doors shut and the car started to drive off.

“I thought they was (sic) going to come for me again but they drove off towards town.”

He added he was confused and did not know why he had been shot or who the gunmen were.

During the opening of the case, Mr Couglin told the jury balaclavas and gloves similar to those used in the attack were found in the homes of both Sondhi and Tinofirei.

Mobile phones linked to the pair were also placed in the area at the time of the shooting by cell-site evidence.

Tinofirei, of Maple Road, Rushden, was also shown to have bought a silver Renault Megane Scenic weeks before the attack.

He and Sondhi, of The Hedges, also Rushden, deny being the attackers or having anything to do with the incident.

A third man, Calvin Scott, 19 and of no fixed address, is also on trial and denies a charge of perverting the course of justice.

He allegedly helped dispose of the car used in the attack by setting fire to it on land near Chelvestone Airfield on July 5.