A COVENTRY man killed a friend by shooting him in the head with a Luger pistol after they had argued in a flat about their drug-dealing activities, it has been alleged.
But although Jordan Bassett admits killing victim Addison Packeer, he says he had not taken the gun to the flat and had been messing around with it, not realising it was loaded.
Bassett (25) of Tintagel Close, Coventry, has pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the manslaughter of 27-year-old Mr Packeer – but denies murdering him.
He has also pleaded not guilty to possessing the 9mm Luger with intent to endanger life, although he admits possessing the illegal firearm after the tragic shooting.
Prosecutor Kevin Hegarty QC said that on December 7 last year Bassett and Mr Packeer arrived at a flat in Chepstow Close, Willenhall, Coventry, where occupier Wayne Anglin ran a small business cooking and selling Caribbean food.
Mr Anglin, who was wary of the two men, let them in, and they ordered some food which he went into the kitchen to prepare, unaware they had a loaded handgun with them.
He could hear them in the living room talking about selling drugs and Bassett telling Mr Packeer he owed him money, saying it was ‘one thing if the police kick the door in and take drugs, but this was another thing.’
Mr Hegarty commented: “It seems Mr Packeer had had some drugs or some money taken from him by a rival in the drugs world, and Mr Bassett said he had lost a good location for selling drugs at a house in Stoke-on-Trent.”
Mr Anglin took their food to them and went back to the kitchen from where he heard ‘a sudden popping noise.’
“He went quickly back into the living room, and it was apparent Mr Packeer had been shot in the right side of his head.
“He was bleeding heavily, and Bassett was saying ‘What did I do, what did I do?’ He was trying to stop the bleeding.”
Mr Anglin said he would call the police, but it was alleged that Bassett told him: “Whatever you do, don’t name me. If you call the police, I’ll kill you.”
Mr Hegarty said Bassett then searched the floor and retrieved the spent casing from the fatal bullet, and took it and then gun with him as he left the ground floor flat and rode off on his motorbike, ‘leaving Mr Packeer dying on the sofa.’
“Mr Anglin called the police and called for an ambulance, but there was really nothing they could do to save Mr Packeer’s life.”
Meanwhile Bassett travelled to Stoke-on-Trent, but handed himself in to the police three days later.
“He said they had been mucking around with the gun, and that he had never meant to shoot Addison.
“He told them where he had put the gun, in a pond not far from where he was living, and they found it in two parts, the gun itself and the magazine, and within the magazine was one bullet.”
Mr Hegarty told the jury: “The gun that was used to shoot Addison Packeer and kill him was, before the shot was fired, in the sole possession of Jordan Bassett or in the joint possession of Jordan Bassett and Addison Packeer.
“Both men were involved in drug-dealing and were acting together in that enterprise, and the possession of firearms to enforce their will on others goes hand-in-hand with such dealing.
“To have such a weapon and ammunition in such a situation is consistent only with an intent to endanger life. Why else do you have a loaded Luger gun on the streets?
“And unless it was Mr Bassett’s gun, why did he take it from the scene?” posed Mr Hegarty.
“Why was he so careful to ensure he found the bullet casing, unless he believed there might be some scientific link between him and the casing, and that it would have shown he had been handling the ammunition and had loaded the weapon?”
Of the murder charge, he alleged: “He deliberately fired the gun, and when he fired it he intended to shoot Addison Packeer, and when he shot him, he intended either to kill him or to cause him really serious harm.
“How else do you shoot another person in the head? What else could you possibly have in mind as you pull the trigger of the gun? We say this was not some terrible accident.”
Mr Hegarty pointed out that to fire it, the gun had to be cocked and the trigger pulled, or an even greater force used to pull the trigger to fire it without cocking it first.
Following his arrest, Bassett said he had been wearing a pair of gloves when they arrived at the flat, and he had put them back on in the flat ‘for the purpose of touching the gun.’
Bassett said that Mr Packeer had produced the gun in the flat and had put Bassett’s gloves on to handle it and then put it down and took off the gloves, at which Bassett had put the gloves back on and picked it up – which Mr Hegarty argued showed they had been in joint possession of it.
He added that Bassett had accepted manslaughter on the basis that he had killed Mr Packeer through ‘gross negligence as they were engaging in a dangerous activity, and somehow or other, while he was mucking around with the gun, he killed Mr Packeer.’
The trial continues.