Witness flees Yardie trial

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An Old Bailey trial collapsed when the victim of an alleged murder attempt went on the run rather than give evidence against a Yardie hitman. In the first of two planned trials, Ricardo "Rocky" Hinds, 26, had already been jailed for life for shooting dead a rival drug baron.

The court began a second high-security trial yesterday but it collapsed within 10 minutes when Jonathon Laidlaw, for the prosecution, said that despite "extensive inquiries" the alleged victim, Carl Spencer, 28, of Wolverhampton, had not been found.

The prosecution then formally offered no evidence against Hinds and his alleged accomplice James Dixon, 22.

Judge Richard Hawkins QC ordered "not guilty" verdicts to be entered and Dixon, of Handsworth, Birmingham, walked smiling from court.