Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Bradford man 'executed' by masked intruder

Neville Corby
Neville Corby was a father of two

A man was "executed" and his partner badly injured when they were attacked by a masked man with a shotgun at their West Yorkshire home, a court heard.

Ernest Wright, 68, of Howarth Crescent, Bradford, denies murdering Neville Corby, 42, and attempting to murder Craig Freear, 31.

The men had been involved in a row over benefits paid to Mr Freear's mother, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Mr Corby was found dead at the house. Mr Freear survived after surgery.

Prosecutor Richard Mansell QC said Mr Wright had been living with Mr Freear's mother Melissa Crocker.

This was nothing short of the execution of a defenceless man
Richard Mansell QC

He said there had been escalating tensions between the men after Mr Wright had benefits paid to Ms Crocker transferred to an account owned by him.

Mr Mansell said Mr Wright confronted Mr Freear as he opened the front door of the house on Ashbourne Road, Bradford, on 30 March last year.

Mr Mansell said Mr Wright, dressed in a black balaclava, then followed Mr Freear inside the house, pointed a sawn-off shotgun at both men and fired, hitting Mr Corby in the chest.

The defendant is then said to have followed the couple upstairs.

Mr Freear, who had taken refuge in the bathroom, suffered a life-threatening wound after he was hit in the right shoulder by a cartridge fired through the bathroom door.

Death 'inevitable'

The court heard he managed to climb on to the edge of the bath and jump out of the bathroom window to safety.

The prosecutor said Mr Corby had barricaded himself behind a bedroom door but Mr Wright fired through the door, hitting him in the chest.

Mr Wright is then alleged to have shot Mr Corby in the shoulder and fractured his skull by hitting him with the gun, before crouching in front of him and firing a final shot.

The prosecutor told the jury: "It blew away part of his neck, severing the jugular vein, from which it was inevitable he would die.

"This was nothing short of the execution of a defenceless man."

The court heard how Mr Wright took the keys to Mr Freear's car and drove away. He went into hiding and was arrested 30 days later.

Forensics experts matched DNA from cells taken from a shotgun cartridge found on the staircase to Mr Wright, the court heard.

Mr Wright also denies two charges of having a firearm with intent to commit murder.

The trial continues.

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