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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Accused 'found murder gun in car'
Amratlal Kanabar
Mr Kanabar was shot on his way home from a night out
A convicted rapist says he found a shotgun, used to kill a grandfather, in his prostitute girlfriend's car.

Richard Watson, 35, claims his partner told him she had used it to fire at a client who had assaulted her, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Mr Watson and Rebecca Shakespeare, 25, deny murdering retired shopkeeper Amratlal Kanabar during a car chase between Nottingham and Leicester.

She says Mr Watson fired the shot after forcing her to go on a robbery spree.

Gun discovery

Mr Watson claims Miss Shakespeare disappeared with her brother for several hours on the night of the shooting, leaving him in her house in Nottingham with her two daughters.

Peter Joyce QC, defending Watson, said she returned after Mr Kanabar was killed.

She has told the jury she lied to police to protect her boyfriend after the shooting, despite watching him shoot Mr Kanabar, because she was petrified.

Mr Joyce said Mr Watson discovered the weapon hidden among toys under the passenger seat of Ms Shakespeare's Ford Fiesta.

Scene of the shooting
The murder scene where the Mr Kanabar was shot.

Mr Joyce said Miss Shakespeare explained she had fired the gun to frighten a former client, while her brother drove the car.

Miss Shakespeare, who was in the witness box on Thursday, denied pulling the trigger.

She maintains she was with Mr Watson, not with her brother, when Mr Kanabar, 60, was shot in the early hours of 8 October 2003.

She said Mr Watson fired the sawn-off shotgun after forcing her into the car with her children, and taking them on the 100 mph pursuit along the A46.

The trial continues.

Accused 'lied' to protect brother
29 Sep 04  |  Leicestershire
Children 'saw car chase shooting'
14 Sep 04  |  Leicestershire
Pair accused of car death murder
13 Sep 04  |  Leicestershire

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