Father describes seeing two sons shot in head

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The Independent Online

A father spoke today of his horror at seeing his two sons shot in the head in front of him.

Wintworth Deslandes, 58, broke down as he told the Old Bailey: "He aimed for their heads. He just wanted to kill.

"It was awful. Just like something you see in a Western film - not something you see in your own home.

"He started to fire and he didn't stop until there weren't any bullets left."

Mr Deslandes, who worked in the City for 25 years as an insurance underwriter, said he went after the gunman only to be shot at himself.

He said: "He put the gun in my mouth and he shot at me three times. I remember counting. I closed my eyes.

"I heard the click and I opened my eyes each time. It was not my day to die."

After gunman Saturday Hassan ran off, Mr Deslandes found his son's Darren and Wintworth Junior, lying side by side in a pool of blood on the floor.

"It was the most harrowing experience of my life," added Mr Deslandes.

Darren, a 34-year-old housing officer, died instantly after being shot three times.

Wintworth Junior, 26, was not expected to live but "miraculously" pulled through and overcame initial paralysis to give evidence.

He told the court he had been fired at five times and still has three bullets in his head.

He said the shootings happened in the early hours of the New Year after Hassan was thrown out of the Newton Arms pub, Croydon, south London.

The pub was opened by Mr Deslandes senior in 2001 and members of the family helped him run it.

Hassan had returned and pointed a gun at him and Wintworth Junior had grabbed him with his brother to try to get him out.

He said: "He managed to shake his hand free and shoot Darren. I saw a flash. I think there were two or three shots. I saw him fall.

"I turned back round and the gun was directly in my face. The shot grazed my left temple. It just missed me.

"He managed to shoot me on top of my head. I staggered back and he carried on shooting.

"I remember falling to the ground next to my brother."

Hassan, 30, of Sydenham, south London, denies murder and two offences of attempted murder.

He claims the gun went off accidentally during a struggle and denies firing at Mr Deslandes senior.