A RE-TRIAL has been ordered after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a one-time member of the Outlaws motorcycle group accused of shooting a pub DJ known as ‘Daz the Mod’ 19 years ago.
They reached an impasse after deliberating for just six hours, so the judge discharged them and adjourned the case for a retrial to take place in April next year.
Anthony Stephens has pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the attempted murder of Darren Smith in a shooting in the doorway of the Plough pub, London Road, Coventry, in October 1996.
Stephens (47) formerly of Cranberry Road, Tile Cross, Birmingham, but who now lives in Dublin, has also denied an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.
Mr Smith, known as Daz the Mod, was shot in the face at the pub where he was DJing during an all-night lock-in.
The bullet, alleged to have been fired by Stephens after he and three other Outlaws members were ordered to leave shortly after 6am, went through Mr Smith’s nasal passage, causing lasting brain damage.
Stephens denies firing the shot, and claims he ducked the bullet as he did not know whether it was being fired at him and his fellow bikers.
Stephens’s barrister Elizabeth Marsh QC applied for bail to be varied to enable Stephens to return to Dublin, where had some work as a tattooist, to live with his wife and son until the retrial.
But he was ordered to live at his father’s address in Birmingham and report to a police station three times a week.
Prosecutor Stephen Linehan had told the jury police were looking for Stephens early on in the investigation, but could not find him.
He was circulated on the police national computer – but was not arrested until November 2013 following the introduction of a new border control system.
He was arrested when he arrived in Dublin on a flight from Birmingham.
Giving evidence, Stephens said things were not good for him in Birmingham in 1996, and he decided to move to Dublin after meeting the woman who is now his wife at a bike show in Ireland.
On the night of the incident, having returned his Outlaws ‘patches,’ the insignia worn on their leather jackets, he went to the clubhouse of the Coventry Outlaws for a farewell party.
It was when that went quiet in the early hours that someone suggested going to the Plough, which had a reputation for holding all-nigh lock-ins, and four of them took a taxi there.
Asked by Miss Marsh whether he had a gun with him or was aware of any of the others having a gun, he replied: “I was going for a drink. I didn’t have a gun, and I didn’t know anyone else had one.”
Stephens claims he was half-way across the car park when he heard a shot.