Prosecutor: Joshua Bains' killers wanted to 'move up the chain' of drugs supply in Northampton
A prosecutor has suggested Northampton man Joshua Bains was shot dead in a plan to "move up the chain" and expand a drug-dealing enterprise.
Joshua Bains, 28, died on Webb Drive, Upton, on October 4 last year.
Two men - Kayongo Shuleko, 26, of Edmonton, London, and Jerome Smikle, 27, of St Leonard's Road, Far Cotton, Northampton - are charged with meeting him minutes before to discuss a drug debt before shooting him in a struggle.
In the last day of evidence at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (May 21), prosecutor Mr William Harbage QC suggested Smikle killed the 28-year-old to "create a vacancy" and "expand" the pair's drug dealing business.
Mr Bains reportedly sold the pair some £600 of drugs earlier that night - before meeting up again in Webb Drive after Kayongo "shorted" him £40.
The court heard Mr Bains reportedly produced a gun, at which point Kayongo struggled with him. Then, Smikle allegedly fatally shot the 28-year-old in the chest.
Mr Harbage asked Smikle in evidence: "Did you feel the need to increase your drugs business? To move up the chain? Maybe by creating a vacancy?"
Smikle replied: "That's incorrect."
Mr Harbage continued: "You are not a man of good character. You deal class-A drugs. Do you have respect for the law?"
Smikle said: "If providing for my family means dealing drugs and not always respecting the law, I'll do whatever it takes."
"Whatever it takes?" said Mr Harbage. "Does that include expanding your own drug empire?"
"That's just your suggestion," said Smikle.
In court, Smikle claimed he was never at the scene of Mr Bains' death. Instead, he said he was smoking cannabis in a flat after Kayongo went out with "a mate" to meet Mr Bains.
Mr Harbage said: "The truth is you're both involved in this shooting. And the truth is you arranged to buy drugs off Josh Bains together. You tooled yourselves up together. And you shot at Mr Bains together. And you killed him together.
"You were together beforehand, together afterwards and together during the incident."
"You are way past the mark," said Smikle. "That is a lie."
"This alibi that you stayed in Lewis's flat the whole time is a lie," said Mr Harbage.
Smikle replied: "That's just a suggestion."
Lewis Carmody, the third defendant in the trial, is accused of assisting Smikle and Kayongo. Yesterday, he declined the opportunity to give evidence in court.
The jury is expected to be sent out to deliberate on May 29.