Masked gunman accused of firing shots at South Shields home in taxi murder plot
The case is being heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
A masked gunman fired a shotgun at a mum's front door when a fall out between two rivals sparked a murder plot, a court heard.
Aaron Giles and Ryan Carr had been locked in a dispute that involved "tit for tat incidents", although it remains unclear what exactly the dispute was about, jurors have been told.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Giles took the row "to another level" when he sent a gunman to the home where Mr Carr lived, with his girlfriend and her child, at Brownlow Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, and two shots were fired at the front door.
Prosecutor Jamie Hill KC told the court Giles had attempted to lure Mr Carr out of the house in the moments before the unidentified person opened fire but nobody ended up hurt.
Mr Hill told jurors Giles and the gunman had been taken to the scene by taxi driver Kevin Chapman, who was in on the deadly plan last September.
Giles, 29, of Richardson Ave, South Shields and Chapman, 40, of Hawthorne Ave, South Shields, both deny conspiracy to murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Giles has admitted an offence of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, which Chapman denies.
Prosecutors claim the men were involved in an "agreement to kill" and Mr Hill added: "It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous act than discharging a firearm through the front door of an occupied house."
Mr Hill told the court on September 21 last year, the day of the shooting, Giles and Chapman were in regular phone contact.
The court heard Chapman was at work as a cabbie in his hometown that day but at around 7.45pm he turned his meter off and collected Giles from Sunderland.
Prosecutors say the men travelled to an address at Leighton Street in South Shields, where Giles collected some keys, which opened his Mercedes carparked outside and he picked up a bag from the vehicle, using a sock over his hand to prevent finger prints or DNA being left.
Mr Hill told jurors: "We say that bag contained a shotgun."
The court heard the two men then travelled, in Chapman's Skoda cab, to an address at Forth Court in the town, where they picked up the gunman, who joined them in the taxi, which then had its stickers removed.
The three men travelled to Brownlow Road, where the gunman was dropped off and he hid behind a parked vehicle, it is claimed.
Mr Hill said the taxi was driven past Mr Carr's house, while Giles shouted "Ryan, Ryan" from the car.
Mr Hill told jurors: "The purpose was obviously to make him available to be shot by the gunman."
The court heard Mr Carr had heard his name and had momentarily looked out of the door but could see nobody around and so went back inside.
Mr Hill said the taxi drove past the house again and CCTV audio picked up a voice, who prosecutors say is Giles, shouting "go on, go on".
Mr Hill said: "This is obviously, we say, encouragement to the gunman."
Jurors heard the gunman then moved position and was seen on CCTV holding a phone to his ear before being greeted by a member of the public, who said "alright mate" to him.
Mr Hill added: "The Skoda drives back again and Mr Giles can be heard shouting 'go on, go on'. At that stage, the gunman approaches the front of the house, pulls the shotgun out of his coat and discharges it twice at the front door."
The court heard nobody was behind the front door when the shots were fired but Mr Carr's girlfriend said she heard two loud bangs and "the entire house shake".
Mr Hill said the gunman fled on foot and Giles and Chapman left in the taxi.
It is claimed Giles, whose nickname is 'Chucky', was picked up on CCTV afterward, saying "tell him that's off Chucky".
Mr Hill told jurors: "This was obviously a planned expedition.
"The gun was ready and available in a car in the street in South Shields, a gunman was located and transported. He was disguised, the taxi was eventually disguised.
"There was an attempt to get Mr Carr to step out of the house at a time when the gunman was in place.
"We say, whatever the execution of the plan, we can infer there was an arrangement to go and kill him, even thought that didn't come to pass."
The trial continues.