Fly-poster `was shot by partner'

A man who was shot four times in a gun attack in which a second man was killed had a virtual monopoly on a city's fly-posting business for 12 years, a court was told yesterday.

Jimmy Carr said his business partner, Marcel Williams, shot him and murdered a second man helping him during a late-night fly-posting expedition in Manchester city centre. Mr Williams, 32, of Old Trafford, Manchester, denies murdering Christopher Horrox, 30, and attempting to murder 46-year- old Mr Carr in May 1994.

Mr Carr told Liverpool Crown Court that he and Williams did not like each other, but there had been no row or obvious reason for the attack. He said that he and Mr Horrox went out that night on a "rush job" sticking up posters for the Hugh Grant film Four Weddings and a Funeral, due to be released the following week.

They met Williams twice during the evening and Mr Carr jokingly asked him: "Are you following me?"

Williams had raised his gun and shot him. He fell to the ground and asked: "Why, Marcel?" He heard Williams reply: "You know why."

"Then he shot me again," Mr Carr, of Sale, Cheshire, said. "I think the second went into my shoulder and into my neck. I pretended it had killed me. I lay flat on the floor and thought `Christ, just stop.' I felt two more bullets hit me, one in my back and one in my shoulder. I didn't flinch. I thought, `Just keep still and he will think you are dead,' so I kept still." He then heard Mr Horrox, of Glossop, Derbyshire, say something like "That's a bit drastic." He heard another shot and heard Mr Horrox's body drop to the ground.

"It was a surreal experience, as though my brain was working very fast but everything else was in slow motion."

He said he gathered people around him and got a policeman to get out his notebook. "There was a stage where I thought I was dying," he said. "I gathered several people around me and said, `This is the name of the person who has done it - Marcel Williams'."

Under cross-examination from Michael Mansfield QC, for the defence, Mr Carr agreed it was possible that rival fly-posters would have reason for shooting them. He said he had been dominant in fly-posting in Manchester for 12 years.

But he added: "It is not as seedy and dirty as you are trying to make out. It is a monopoly - it has got to be. It doesn't work any other way."

He agreed that anyone else wanting to fly-post on the patch would have to contact his company first. He confirmed he had met rivals at a Manchester McDonald's in 1993 to try to defuse rivalries. There had been a baseball bat attack on one of his vans and arson attacks.

Mr Mansfield asked: "This trade was such that people might go as far as wanting to `blow people away'," Mr Carr said: "It is possible, obviously."

The case continues.