Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Bradford murder suspect helped by friends

Neville Corby
Neville Corby was a father of two

A man on trial for murder has told a court he was living two doors from his home during a police manhunt.

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

Mr Wright said he hid because he was out of prison on licence and feared he would be returned to jail if he was arrested.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how friends helped him evade capture for 30 days.

Mr Corby and Mr Freear were shot by a masked man at their home on Ashbourne Road, Bradford in March 2009.

Solicitor visit

Mr Corby was killed, while Mr Freear escaped by jumping out of the bathroom window.

Mr Wright told the court he wrote to police while he was hiding in Morecambe and Heysham, Lancashire, before he moved back to Howarth Crescent, Bradford.

He said: "I moved next door but one from my house."

Mr Wright said he saw newspaper coverage of the shootings and saw his photograph had been issued by police.

Robert Smith QC, defending, asked him: "Were you in any way responsible for shooting Mr Corby and Mr Freear?"

Mr Wright replied: "No."

The court heard Mr Corby and Mr Freear were in dispute with Mr Wright over his friendship with Mr Freear's 57-year-old disabled mother Melissa Crocker.

Miss Crocker had her benefits paid into her son's account, but Mr Wright had helped her to stop the arrangement.

Mr Wright claimed that at the time of the shooting he was taking her to his solicitor in Leeds.

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

The trial continues.

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