A SUSPECTED member of the notorious Coventry Outlaws gang is on trial for shooting a DJ in the face.
Anthony Stephens shot Darren ‘Daz the Mod’ Smith at the Plough in London Road in October 1996 as the DJ stood in the doorway telling him to leave.
But it took 17 years for alleged gunman Stephens to be arrested – picked up by police officers at Birmingham airport in November 2013 as he landed on a flight from Dublin, where he now lives.
A jury at Warwick Crown Court has heard how at the time the Plough pub, which has since closed and is now a Chinese restaurant, had become famous for it’s lock-ins for the regulars.
On the night of October 19, 1996 Mr Smith, who was known as ‘Daz the Mod’, was DJing when Stephens and three other members of the Coventry Outlaws arrived at 6.20am and were let in.
The group began to misbehave and were told to leave, and were escorted to the door by people including Mr Smith.
Once outside, Mr Stephens produced a handgun and fired it at the DJ – causing a bullet to become lodged in his brain.
Stephens, aged 47 and formerly of Cranberry Road, Tile Cross, Birmingham, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Darren Smith and has also denied an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Smith – who still has the bullet lodged in his head, with intent to cause him serious injury.
Describing the damage done to the DJ in more detail, Prosecutor Stephen Linehan QC told the jury: “The bullet entered his brain, and in fact it went through the nasal passage into his brain, and then it moved from one side of his skull to the other.
“It hit one side of his skull and ricocheted to the other side.
“It caused serious and lasting brain damage, but he survived.
“The question for you is if you level a gun at someone and shoot them, what other intention can you have?”
The trial continues.