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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 14:58 GMT
Killer 'only meant to scare' man
Peter Woodhams
Peter Woodhams was shot in front of his young son
A teenager who shot dead a young father outside his east London home told a jury he was sorry for his family and that he had only meant to scare him.

Bradley Tucker, 18, told the Old Bailey jury he believed the gun he fired at Peter Woodhams would only "go bang".

Mr Woodhams, 22, died in front of his fiancee and three-year-old son after the shooting in Canning Town.

Mr Tucker, from Canning Town, is accused of shooting him four times. He denies murder, but admits manslaughter.

'Final chapter'

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named and is said to have acted as a look-out, also denies murder.

Both have pleaded not guilty to firearms offences.

Mr Tucker told the court that he remembered pulling the trigger at least three times shortly before Mr Woodhams was shot on 21 August 2006, but when he saw blood appear he fled.

He said that he was on his mobile phone when he saw an angry Mr Woodhams coming towards him swearing.

"I put my phone in my pocket and pulled out the gun and started shooting," he told the court.

He said he fired the weapon "to scare him, make him go in the other direction", but then noticed the blood on his chest.

Mr Tucker said at that point he stopped shooting, then turned and ran.

"He'd been shot. I was scared. I didn't expect it to shoot him, just to make a bang," he said.

"I was shocked. I feel sorry. I wish I could take it back and I feel sorry for his family. I have to face up to what I have done. It was my fault. I accept I have to be punished."

Phone call

The killing was said to be the "final chapter" in a campaign of violence and bullying against Mr Woodhams.

Seven months earlier he had been stabbed in the neck and slashed across the face, the jury were told.

In court on Thursday, Mr Tucker denied any involvement in that attack but said he had later learned he was being blamed for it.

He said he received an anonymous phone call from someone he took to be the victim threatening revenge.

Mr Tucker told the court that he was upset that Mr Woodhams had chased him earlier that day, and so he decided to confront him.

He said another teenager supplied him with the weapon "just in case he chucks it" and when he asked him "Is it real?" the other youth said "No, it just makes a bang".

The trial continues.


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