Murder suspect claims he was smoking cannabis when Northampton man was killed

A defendant in the Joshua Bains murder trial has denied being at the scene at the time of the shooting.
A defendant in the Joshua Bains murder trial has denied being at the scene at the time of the shooting.

A Northampton man charged with the murder of Joshua Bains claims he was never even at the scene when the 28-year-old was shot dead last year.

Jerome Smikle told Birmingham Crown Court today (May 20) his own, third account of how Mr Bains was killed in Upton in October 2018 - one where he was never even in the car when Josh was shot and killed.

Flowers left at the scene of the shooting in October 2018.

Flowers left at the scene of the shooting in October 2018.

It comes after his co-defendent, Kayongo Sheluko, 26, from London, told the jury last week that, not only was Smikle in the Ford Focus on Webb Drive last year, but he heard "a gunshot come from Smikle" after an argument broke out.

Instead, Smikle - 27, from St Leonards Road, Far Cotton - claims he was smoking cannabis at the flat of a third co-defendant, Lewis Carmody, when Mr Bains was killed.

Smikle told the jury: "I got to [Carmody's] address at 5pm or 6pm and was there for the rest of the day."

The 27-year-old told the court Mr Bains sometimes sold him cannabis wholesale for him to deal, and they were "friends".

He said: "At some point, Josh called and was angry. He was going off about how 'your mate' [Shuleko] owes me £40.

"Then, Shuleko and [his mate] left in the Ford Focus. And that was it."

His defence barrister, Mr Courtenay Griffiths QC, asked Smikle: "You appreciate that at about 9pm there was an incident... In which Mr Bains was shot and killed.

"Were you in the Ford Focus when that happened?"

"No I wasn't," said Smikle.

"At some point, Lewis got a call and left in a rush. He asked me to come but I didn't go.

"When Lewis and Shuleko came back they told me they had had to burn out the Ford Focus.

"Shuleko said 'some madness' had happened and I didn't want to know about it."

After a police manhunt, Shuleko and Smikle were arrested from an address in The Mounts on Oct 19. Smikle claimed the 19th was the day he planned to "hand himself in".

His account comes after Prosecutor William Harbage QC 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.

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

The trial continues.