Feud between rival groups led to children being shot at playground, court told

Two youngsters, aged 11 and 15, were ‘right in the line of fire’ when shots were fired from a car towards another vehicle, a jury has heard.

Matthew Cooper
Tuesday 14 November 2023 14:22 GMT
The trial is taking place at Birmingham Crown Court (PA)
The trial is taking place at Birmingham Crown Court (PA)

A trial has been shown CCTV footage of shots being fired from a stolen car towards a children’s playground, hitting an 11-year-old girl and a boy aged 15, during a “murderous” feud between two armed groups.

Jurors were told both victims were struck in the leg by bullets at a park in Shelley Road, Wolverhampton, on May Day, during an afternoon shooting which triggered a high-speed car chase “straight from the movie director’s script”.

Prosecutors allege the shots were fired from a Ford Focus car containing Kian Durnin, Martinho De-Sousa and Tireq McIntosh, who all deny attempting to murder a person unknown and wounding both victims with intent.

Durnin, 22, De-Sousa, 24 and McIntosh, 23, further deny possessing two handguns with intent to endanger life and aggravated vehicle-taking.

You will not be surprised to hear that this attack, two gunmen firing multiple shots, led to some shocking results

Prosecution KC Tim Cray

Opening the case against the men at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Tim Cray KC likened the events due to be considered by jurors to a movie script, with guns being fired, car chases and “feuds between people in and around the city of Wolverhampton”.

Before showing the court footage said to show the driver and front seat passenger of the Focus firing from the vehicle, Mr Cray told the jury: “We want you to watch with us a short clip of video.

“That is because those pictures will impress on you, far more graphically than any words could, what this case is about and why it is so serious.”

Alleging that the intended targets of the shooting were the occupants of a Mini Cooper which gave chase after the shooting, Mr Cray said the children’s playground was “right in the line of fire”.

The prosecutor said: “You will not be surprised to hear that this attack, two gunmen firing multiple shots, led to some shocking results.

“Two people were hit by the bullets. (The 11-year-old girl) was playing in the park in the playground with her friends.

One of the bullets hit her.

“Another young person was 15 years old at the time. He was in the car park area on a push bike and one of the bullets hit him, again in the leg.”

The court heard the children, who cannot be identified because of a court order, were treated in hospital and both made recoveries from their wounds.

Suggesting that it was only a matter of luck that could be measured in fractions of a second that no one died, Mr Cray asked: “So, what on earth was happening? What led up to this and who was doing the shooting?”

Claiming Durnin, of Milton Road, De-Sousa, of Deansfield Road, and McIntosh, of Valley Road, all in Wolverhampton, had got into the Focus in the New Park Village area of the city, Mr Cray alleged: “Durnin was the driver, McIntosh was the front seat passenger and De-Sousa was in the back seat.

One of the chasers fired a shot at the Focus which blew out the back windscreen. That bullet was later found lodged in a headrest of the Focus

Tim Cray KC, during his opening speech

“The Focus reverses up, almost right to the entrance of the park, which allowed them to make a rapid getaway after the shooting.

“Durnin, the driver, is leaning out of the window nearest the camera firing. McIntosh, the front seat passenger was leaning out of his front window. Both men were firing handguns.”

The court heard the Mini Cooper had also been stolen and gave chase to the Focus together with a man on an electric bike and two other cars, a Peugeot and a Seat Leon, which joined the chase later.

Mr Cray added: “Over the next 10 minutes there was then a high-speed car and bike chase through the streets of north-east Wolverhampton.

“And one of the chasers fired a shot at the Focus which blew out the back windscreen. That bullet was later found lodged in a headrest of the Focus.”

Although the true motive would only ever be known by those involved, Mr Cray said the evidence showed “two armed groups existing cheek by jowl with each other” who were prepared to fire live ammunition and engage in a high-speed chase in stolen cars with “murderous intent”.

“All those things prove this was a planned attack on rivals, caring absolutely nothing for the public and whoever may be caught up in the shooting or the aftermath,” he told the jury.

Jurors were told that both Durnin and McIntosh deny being in the Ford Focus at the time of the shooting.

The trial continues.

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