Loxford shooting: Defendant claims he was selling drugs at the time of the incident

Police at the scene of the shooting

Police at the scene of the shooting - Credit: Archant

A defendant accused of assisting a gunman after he shot and wounded a 22-year-old man in the back told the court that he had nothing to do with the shooting.

Ali Sheikh, 24, of Buttsbury Road, Ilford, who is accused of helping the gunman Joshan Addison, 19, evade capture after the incident, told the court he was selling weed when the shooting took place.

Prior to the incident on August 8, he had dropped his wife and young son at his mother-in-law’s home in Ilford before he drove to Loxford Lane, where he met his co-defendant Mohammed Jabir.

Jabir, 22, of Cobham Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of assisting an offender, earlier in the trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Mr Sheikh told the jury yesterday: “I was planning to go home and eat but then Mohammed called me and wanted to buy some weed.

“I arrived at Loxford General Store, where there was lots of people socialising outside, and chilled with Jabir in his car for about ten minutes.”

The 24-year-old told the court that he then travelled to Woodlands Road with Jabir in order to make another sale and only knew the shooting had occurred after a friend called him.

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He said: “He told me an incident had happened and that there had been a shooting.

“When I heard that, I panicked. I was thinking about my cousin who had been outside the store when I left.”

The victim, Rhys Bryin, 22, was blasted once in the back with a shotgun, while he stood next to a playground full of parents and children.

An 11-year-old boy was injured when a single pellet struck his cheek.

Mr Addison, 19, of Thornton Avenue, Ilford, faces charges of GBH with intent in relation to the shooting of Mr Bryin, and a charge of wounding with intent over the injured 11-year-old.

After the shooting, Mr Sheikh told the court that he jumped out of Jabir’s car, which was travelling back to Loxford Park because of traffic.

He denied intending to help Mr Addison escape the scene but said his co-defendants, Jabir, and a teenage boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared “visibly stressed” about not being able to find the gunman, following the shooting.

When asked about his relationship to the main defendant, Joshan Addison, the 24-year-old told the court that he didn’t know him very well.

He said: “I don’t know him too well. I’ve known him for about six months.

“I have known Rhys Bryin [the victim] about 11 years. I used to socialise with him when I was young.

“I would describe him as a friend. I have never had any trouble with him.”

Last week, the 19-year-old admitted shooting Rhys Bryin, 22, with a shotgun outside Loxford General Store on August 8 last year, but says he did so to protect himself and his family.

All three defendants deny the charges and the trial continue.