A lorry driver has gone on trial accused of being the mastermind behind a plan to murder his ex-partner’s new boyfriend, a court heard.
Mark Walsh, 35, was shot at close range in an alleyway at the back of his house on Maudsley Street in Accrington on January 12 last year.
Preston Crown Court heard claims Kevin King had convinced a friend to shoot him with a shotgun.
The court heard how Mr Walsh was showered with 100 pellets and survived the blast, however the incident has left him with ‘significant deafness’ in both ears and it has also ‘impaired his ability to lead a normal life’.
Two other men have previously been convicted of conspiracy to murder.
Mr King, 31, of Lodge Lane, Lytham St Annes, denies the same charge.
Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting, told the hearing that Mr King was in the south of England at the time of the shooting but he claimed ‘hatched’ the plan to murder Mr Walsh.
He told the jury: “The prosecution’s case is that the plan to kill Mark Walsh was hatched by Kevin King. Also part of the plan was that the killing should take place when Kevin King had a cast iron alibi.”
Mr Shorrock told the jury there was a ‘long-standing animosity’ between Mr King and Mr Walsh ‘that would make him the prime suspect in any attempt on his life’.
When interviewed by police, Mr King denied being involved in the shooting or having ‘any issues’ with Mark Walsh and his ex-partner, the court was told.
The jury heard that when Mr King was released on bail after being arrested following the shooting, police had obtained authority to make ‘covert audio recordings’ from the cab in his HGV.
Mr Shorrock told the jury: “It’s clear from the conversations and tone that Kevin King knew about the shooting before it had taken place and played a part in the planning of it, including ensuring he would have an alibi.”
Mr Shorrock said that in one conversation Mr King said police were trying to ‘pin him’ to the conspiracy and had let him out on bail because they ‘didn’t have enough evidence’.
When asked by a caller if he was going to go to prison, he replied ‘we will have to see what they conjure up’, the court was told.
Mr Shorrock said in another conversation Mr King told a caller that the police had been searching with sniffer dogs to find the gun but said ‘they won’t find that’.
The jury heard that when another caller said to Mr King ‘you don’t do things by ******* halves’ Mr King replied ‘I said it will happen, didn’t I?’
Mr Shorrock said when another caller asked Mr King about the possibility of Mr Walsh coming back to shoot him Mr King said ‘Well next time, do you know what I mean mate, it will be me pulling the ******* trigger and it will be a double barrel not a single’.
When asked what the dispute was over, the jury heard that Mr King said ‘a little ’un’.
The jury was told that there was evidence of ‘considerable phone traffic’ between Mr King and the man who fired the gun on both the day and day after the shooting.
Analysis of the phones later showed 11 attempted calls and 10 successful calls on the day of the shooting between the two lasting two hours and 25 minutes and on the next day 38 unsuccessful calls and 18 successful calls.
Mr Shorrock told the jury this ‘gave rise to the irresistible inference’ that Mr King and the other man were planning the attack.