Josh Bains 'was murdered in Northampton over £40 drug debt', jury told

Two men have gone on trial today accused of murdering Josh Bains in Upton over a £40 drugs debt.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 2:47 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:03 am
The scene a day after Josh was killed. Police cordoned off the immediate area.

Josh 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 today the 27-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 their Ford Focus car to discuss a debt owed to Josh by Smikle.

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

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Giving his opening speech today, prosecutor Willam Harbage QC said: "Mr Bains collapsed in the road and died where he fell, despite the strenuous efforts of others to save him.

“Tragically, it may be that Josh Bains was shot, and lost his life, in a dispute over as little as £40."

The jury heard today the prosecution believes Smikle was in the driver's seat of the car with Shuleko beside him.

Josh, who had been sitting in the back seat, got out after a short while but was then immediately confronted by Shuleko, who pulled out a handgun.

The two men grappled for control of the gun - which was pointed above their heads - with Shuleko breaking away still holding the weapon. At this point Smikle had stepped out of the car, also carrying a handgun.

While this had been going on, one of Josh's friends, who had been watching from a VW Golf nearby, had approached the group, but Shuleko fired his gun and the friend took cover in some bushes.

Precisely what happened next, Mr Harbage told the jury, nobody knows, except that between them Smikle and Shuleko fired five shots, one of which hit Josh in his chest and killed him. Others tried to save his life but he passed away.

Mr Harbage said: "It is not possible to say with certainty which of the gunshots caused the fatal injury, or who fired it, but the prosecution say it does not matter.

"Suleko and Smikle were acting together - both were armed, both were firing at Mr Bains, and both are guilty of his murder."

Both Smikle and Shuleko deny murder having entered not guilty pleas at an earlier hearing.

Lewis Carmody, 21, from Walmer Close, Northampton is charged with assisting an offender, which he denies.

The trial continues.