Defendant was running 'Loco Line' drug gang at time of Northampton shooting, jury told

Josh Bains
Josh Bains

One of the defendants in the Josh Bains murder trial ran a four-man street-level drugs operation called the 'Loco Line', a court heard.

Josh Bains died within minutes of being shot in the chest with a handgun in Webb Drive, Upton on Thursday, October 4 at about 9pm.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the 28-year-old had probably met up with his alleged killers - Kayongo Shuleko, 26, of Edmonton, London, and Jerome Smikle, 27, of St Leonard's Road, Far Cotton, Northampton, who both deny murder - in a Ford Focus car to discuss a debt owed to Josh.

But the meeting ended with Josh getting out of the car and, about 30 seconds later, being shot in the chest.

Yesterday (Friday), the jury heard a claim by one of the defendants, Shuleko, that he was working for co-defendant Smikle as one of the dealers for the "Loco Line."

Cross-examining Shuleko - who took the stand today for the second day - prosecution barrister William Harbage QC asked him if "the whole purpose of you coming back to Northampton was so you could sell drugs in the United Kingdom again?" "Yes," Shuleko answered.

Shuleko had been living in his three-door Vauxhall Corse in Belgium for nearly three months - for a period between May and October 2018 - before he came back to the United Kingdom on October 2, by coach.

The jury heard how the purpose of Shuleko returning to the UK was to sell drugs and, in turn, make enough money to put a deposit down on a family-sized flat.

At about 7.45pm on the night of the shooting Smikle and Shuleko had met with Josh Bains at the In and Out Garage in Kingsley where Josh dropped off cocaine but claimed he had forgotten the cannabis.

The jury heard how Josh Bains had quoted Smikle £730 for a sale of cannabis and cocaine.

Questioning Shuleko Mr Harbage said: “And you thought that was extortionate?" "Yes." "And you did not want to pay more than £600?" "Yes."

He added: “If I’ve understood you correctly when you made this deal with Joshua Bains it was your intention right from the outset to rip him off?” “Yes.”

"What did you say to Joshua Bains when you handed over the money?" "He said 'is it all there?' and I said 'yes'."

The trial continues.