Murder accused claims Josh Bains was holding a gun before he was fatally shot in Northampton

The scene a day after Josh was killed.
The scene a day after Josh was killed.

One of the men accused of shooting Josh Bains in Upton has claimed the victim was also carrying a gun.

Joshua 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, the jury heard a claim by one of the defendants, Shuleko, that Josh was also armed.

The defendant, being questioned by defence barrister Paul Mendelle QC, told the court he went to grab Josh by the collar but Josh lifted up his hand while holding a gun.

Shuleko claimed he tried to steer the gun away from Joshua by grabbing the barrel before it was apparently discharged.

The jury was then told by Shuleko that another gunshot then came from Smikle.

“I was shocked,” he said. “But at the same time I was in the middle of fighting for my life.”

He then described seeing Josh stumble into the middle of the road before collapsing face down.

The prosecution's version of events differs from Shuleko's in that they say Josh was not armed at any time during the incident.

Prosecutor William Harbage QC has previously told the jury that Shuleko's DNA had later been found on one of the bullet casings left at the murder scene. Mr Harbage suggested the DNA had probably been transferred during the loading of one of the guns (a Glock) , and that - based on muzzle flashes captured on CCTV - the other weapon (a revolver) was probably used by Smikle.

Yesterday, the jury heard Shuleko describe how he made the choice to leave his family in Belgium to come to England and sell drugs.

Giving evidence Shuleko said on the day of October 4 last year that he and Smikle had driven to the In and Out Garage in Kingsley where they had met with Josh Bains to buy some cocaine and cannabis.

According to Shuleko, Josh only brought the cocaine with him but had forgotten to bring the cannabis and said to Shuleko that he was going to drive home to fetch it.

But Shuleko and Smikle left and went back to Lewis Carmodys house - where Shuleko was staying - before Smikle received a phone call from Josh.

Carmody, 21, from Walmer Close, Northampton, is the third defendant on trial. He is charged with assisting an offender, which he denies.

Shuleko said: "He was saying there’s only £690. What’s going on? What’s happened to the other £40?

“I told him I would be back in 20 to 30 minutes to give him the rest of his money.”

In the meantime the defendant had decided he did not want the cannabis anymore, so Shuleko claims he then only owed him an additional £10.

A meeting was then planned in Upton, and Shuleko and Smikle left Carmody’s flat to meet Josh in High Street.

Josh got into the back of the Ford Focus, driven by Smikle, with Shuleko as the front seat passenger.

“He was asking why I always ‘short him’,” Shuleko said.

“Did you give him any money?” Mr Mendelle asked. “I offered him the £10 but he didn’t want it.

“He was clearly p****d off. Because I told him everything was there in the initial transaction.”

Shuleko alleged Joshua Bains told him to get out of the car.

“Were you prepared to have a fight with him?” Mr Mendelle asked. “Yes. A fist fight.”

In the ensuing 30 seconds Josh received a fatal bullet wound and died where he fell despite the efforts of members of the public, including an off-duty A&E consultant.

Smikle and Shuleko left the scene in the Ford Focus before Smikle allegedly called Carmody to pick them up.

“Did you intend to help or assist Jerome Smikle in the shooting?” Mr Mendelle asked. “No,” Shuleko answered.

The trial continues.