PC 'pleaded for life as gunman shot him'

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A gunman calmly shot dead a police officer as he lay wounded on a pavement pleading for his life, a court heard yesterday.

A gunman calmly shot dead a police officer as he lay wounded on a pavement pleading for his life, a court heard yesterday.

PC Ian Broadhurst shouted "Don't shoot, please, no" as David Bieber, 38, who had rendered the officerimmobile by shooting him in the chest seconds earlier, stood over him with both hands on a 9mm semi-automatic pistol normally used for military and police operations.

Mr Bieber killed PC Broadhurst at such close range that powder from the muzzle of the gun was found on the officer's hands which had been raised in self defence, Robert Smith, for the prosecution, told Newcastle Crown Court.

"He deliberately and purposefully aimed that gun at close range at that officer as he lay incapacitated on the ground and calmly shot him in the head before he made good his escape," said Mr Smith.

Mr Bieber, 38, an American citizen resident in Britain since 1996, denies murdering PC Broadhurst, 34, and attempting to murder two other officers as they tried to handcuff him in Leeds on Boxing Day afternoon last year.

The events that led to PC Broadhurst's death began at 3.48pm when he and a colleague, PC Keith Roper, approached a motorist, alleged to be Mr Bieber, reading a copy of the Racing Post in a black BMW parked illegally in Dib Lane, Leeds.

Under interview in the police patrol car, the suspect said that he was taking medication for claustrophobia and anxiety and asked to get out. But when the officer reached for handcuffs, Mr Bieber drew a pistol and fired five rounds of ammunition in a lethal eight-second display of marksmanship, the prosecution claimed. The first struck PC Broadhurst, passing through his chest, liver and pancreas; the second and third hit PC Roper as he fled, inflicting serious abdominal injuries, and the fourth hit PC James Banks but passed through his radio belt .

"Five seconds elapsed ... before the fifth shot, during which the assailant took the gun in both hands and in a position standing over PC Broadhurst he aimed at, then shot him through, the head," said Mr Smith. "[PC Broadhurst] was holding his hands above his face in a defensive gesture. The bullet passed through the back of his left hand, his right forearm and into his head."

The episode was captured on an audio recorder activated in PC Broadhurst's car and was witnessed by a recovery truck driver called to remove the BMW, the jury heard.

Voice experts had matched the suspect's voice on the in-car recorder to mobile phone calls made by Mr Bieber to betting agencies. Closed circuit evidence from a newsagents at the scene captured Mr Bieber, the prosecution said. The prosecution's case also details Mr Bieber's alleged movements after the murder. He returned to his nearby flat and left by taxi soon after 6.30pm, asking the driver to avoid the shooting scene.

Over the next few days, he took weapons from a lock-up store and began cash machine withdrawals which helped him amass £6,000. He also allegedly made plans to leave the country, making Mastercard bookings for National Express coach tickets from Sheffield to Paris, via the London Victoria coach station. He was arrested at the Royal hotel in Dunston, Gateshead, early on 31 December after staff became suspicious. The court heard that as he was being handcuffed by armed officers, he said: "You won't shoot an unarmed man, would you?"

Officers discovered a gun under the mattress, a mobile phone, a plastic bag containing 125 bullets, a further 93 bullets in his rucksack and 100 in his jacket. "You might want to ask why the accused continued to carry the gun after it had been fired," Mr Smith told the jury. "When armed officers moved in [and] surprised him, he realised he couldn't shoot his way out, so gave himself up."

The gun was the murder weapon, with DNA on the trigger and the butt that matched Mr Bieber's, the jury heard.

Mr Bieber also denies possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of 200 9mm bullet pistol cartridges. Yesterday, he admitted possessing 298 9mm bullet cartridges without a firearms certificate.

The trial continues.