25th Jun, 2022

Trial of Coventry man who shot Addison Packeer in head but denies murder hears from firearms expert

Editorial Correspondent 17th Jun, 2019 Updated: 17th Jun, 2019

TAKING the magazine out of the automatic pistol that was used to kill Coventry man Addison Packeer would not mean the gun was unloaded, a jury has heard.

And it would not be obvious there was a bullet in the chamber without pulling back the slide to check, a firearms expert has agreed during the trial of the man who fired the fatal shot.

Jordan 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 prepared some food which he gave to them in the living room before returning to the kitchen from where he heard ‘a sudden popping noise.’

He rushed into the living room and saw that Mr Packeer had been shot to the side of his head and Bassett was trying to stop the bleeding, repeatedly saying: “What did I do?”

After retrieving the spent cartridge, as Mr Packeer lay dying on the sofa, Bassett left the flat and disposed of the gun in a pond near his home.

But it was recovered after he had handed himself in a few days later and he told the police where it was.

The jury heard the gun was found in two parts, the gun itself and the magazine, and in the magazine was a single bullet, although there was no round in the body of the pistol.

Of the murder charge, Mr Hegarty alleges: “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.”

But Bassett says they had been ‘mucking about’ with the gun after removing the magazine, and he had pulled the trigger, not realising there was still a bullet in it.

And his plea of guilty to manslaughter was on the basis that he had killed Mr Packeer through ‘gross negligence as they were engaging in a dangerous activity.’

Giving evidence, police firearms expert John Webber said that once a magazine has been loaded and replaced in the handle, the slide on the gun had to be pulled back for a bullet to be loaded into the chamber.

Asked how that would be reversed if the person did not want to fire a shot, he explained: “In the short-term you put on the safety catch.

“In the long-term you remove the magazine and pull back the slide to remove any cartridge [in the weapon]. It would be thrown out of the side through the ejector mechanism.”

Questioned by Bassett’s barrister Tim Raggatt QC, Mr Webber agreed that if the magazine was in the gun and it was fired, ‘the next round would be introduced into the breech.’

If the magazine was then removed, that round would remain in the gun unless the slide was pulled back to eject it.

Mr Raggatt put to him: “Assuming the magazine is not in the weapon, whether or not there is a round in the breech is not something you can see just by looking at the weapon.”

And Mr Webber agreed: “That is correct.”

The barrister observed: “In order to find out, you would have to pull the slide back to open the breech.”

Mr Webber again said that was correct, and asked whether as well as exposing the round that action would eject it, he replied: “It should eject it at the same time.”

Mr Raggatt: “If there’s a single round in the chamber but no magazine, that does not stop the weapon firing the single round in the breech.” Mr Webber confirmed: “That is correct.”

To emphasise his point, Mr Raggatt added: “Without the magazine in the gun, unless you open the gun or fire the gun, there is nothing to indicate there’s a bullet in the breech.”

Again, Mr Webber confirmed: “That is correct.”

The trial continues.

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