A COVENTRY man who killed a friend by shooting him in the head at almost point-blank range with an automatic pistol has insisted he did not believe the gun was loaded.
And Jordan Bassett told a jury: “Words can’t describe how I feel. Devastated. Addison was my friend, I would never want to hurt him.”
Bassett (25) of Tintagel Close, Coventry, has pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the manslaughter of 27-year-old Addison 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.
The jury has heard that on December 7 last year the two men went to a flat in Chepstow Close, Willenhall, Coventry, where Wayne Anglin ran a business cooking and selling Caribbean food.
They sat in the living room, and it is alleged that as Mr Anglin prepared food for them in the kitchen, he heard a noise and rushed through to see Mr Packeer had been shot to the head.
Bassett, who had fired the fatal shot, was trying to stop the bleeding, but then left, taking the gun, the magazine and the spent cartridge with him and throwing them into a quarry pond.
When it was recovered after he handed himself in a few days later it was in two parts, and in the magazine was a single bullet, although there was no round in the body of the pistol.
Bassett has admitted manslaughter on the basis that he had killed Mr Packeer through ‘gross negligence’ while they were ‘mucking about’ with the gun, which he did not realise was loaded.
But of the murder charge, prosecutor Kevin Hegarty QC has alleged: “He deliberately fired the gun, and when he fired it he intended to shoot Addison Packeer.”
Giving evidence, Bassett said he had not seen the gun, a Luger semi-automatic pistol, before Mr Packeer took it from his waistband and put it on the table as they sat in Mr Anglin’s flat.
Bassett said his gloves were on the table, and Mr Packeer put them on and ‘began playing around with the firearm,’ which he said was in one piece at that time.
“He was just messing around with the firearm, just playing around with it in his hand. I was eating my food. I was looking, but at the same time I was watching the television.
“While I was eating my food he was pointing the firearm around, and he pointed it at my knee, and I told him to move it away. He was just messing around, there was no bad vibes in the room whatsoever.”
He said Mr Anglin had been in the room at that time, but had then gone to get Mr Packeer’s food, and when he returned with it, Mr Packeer put the gun on the table and began eating.
Asked by his barrister Tim Raggatt QC whether he knew what sort of gun it was, and whether he had handled it at that point, Bassett replied: “No.”
Of what happened next, Bassett said: “I did put the gloves on and pick up the firearm. Addison was eating his food, and I was bored. I didn’t want to touch the gun without gloves on.
“I was just pointing the firearm around, messing around. I didn’t think it was loaded. The magazine was on the table.
“I pointed the gun at Wayne, and we were laughing and joking, and Addison was laughing. I turned round to Addison, and the gun’s gone off. When Addison was messing around with it he’d told me it wasn’t loaded.”
He said Mr Packeer must have taken the magazine out of the gun at some point, although he had not noticed him do so, because when Mr Packeer was eating ‘you could see the gun and the clip on the table.’
Asked whether he had handled the gun at any stage when the magazine was not on the table, Bassett answered: “No.”
Mr Raggatt pointed out that the gun would only fire if the trigger was pulled, and asked: “Do you know what you did with the trigger?” Bassett replied: “I don’t remember, to be honest.
“I was sitting right next to him. I was in a state of shock, I think. I threw the firearm, and I was trying my hardest to help Addison. He was bleeding from the right side of his head.
“I was shocked, scared, I didn’t know what to think. I was trying to help him. I did go to the bathroom to get a towel to try to stop the bleeding.
“I put the towel on the wound, I put a cushion on the settee and laid him in the recovery position to try to help him as much as I could. He was my friend.”
Bassett said he told Mr Anglin to call for an ambulance and the police, and that Mr Anglin told him to ‘get out’ and to take the things with him, so he had left with the gun, the magazine and the spent casing.
Asked why he left, he said: “I was panicking. I was scared, terrified.”
He said he went into some woods near his home and then to a quarry where he threw the gun, magazine and casing into water, then went to his uncle’s home to get changed ‘because my clothes were covered in Addison’s blood.’
But he said he put the clothes in a bag ‘because I knew I was going to go to the police station to tell them what happened.’
He first went to stay with a cousin in Stoke-on-Trent, then returned and went to Coventry police station where he handed over the bag of clothes and told officers where to find the gun.
And he added: “I didn’t have anything to hide. I wanted to tell the truth about what happened.”
Asked by Mr Raggatt how he felt about what had happened, Bassett replied: “Words can’t describe how I feel. Devastated, a life is lost. Addison was my friend. I would never want to hurt him.”
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