June 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A father accused of plotting the killing of a Woodford Green café owner denied trying to confront him two days earlier, a court has heard.
Romain Arthur, 23, of Hazel Way, Chingford, allegedly took revenge on 24-year-old James Bryant, who ran the Cakes and Shakes ice-cream parlour in High Road, by plotting a shooting.
The Old Bailey has heard that Arthur, 23, ordered the attack after Mr Bryant was seen holding Arthur’s two-year-old son at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford on November 12.
Giving evidence at the Old Bailey yesterday, Arthur admitted one of his friends called him that day after seeing Arthur’s son in Westfield – but only because the boy looked ill.
Fellow defendant Temidire Owolabi, 21, of Chafford Hundred, Essex, allegedly shot out a front window at Cakes and Shakes on November 12 before twice shooting Mr Bryant with a semi-automatic pistol two days later.
Mr Bryant spent two months in hospital.
Arthur accepted he and friends including Owolabi drove to Westfield on November 12.
But he said it was not to confront Mr Bryant.
Arthur said: “I have got a very strong relationship with my son. I was very worried about my son.”
He also said he had not seen a Facebook message from Mr Bryant mocking the November 12 attack.
He said: “I’m not one of his friends on Facebook.”
He admitted phoning Owolabi before and after the shooting while he was at the gym, but said he had no way of knowing what had occurred at the shop.
He said: “I phone a lot of my friends in the gym.”
Owolabi denies attempted murder and two counts of possessing a firearm with intent.
Arthur denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Both men deny conspiracy to murder.
The trial continues.
A teenage girl thought she was escaping an argument when she got into a car with a Chadwell Heath man – but he took her to a house and raped her, a court heard today.