Tipu Sultan's alleged killer says his grim murder confession was fake

A murder suspect confessed to the shooting of a take-away boss during a jail visit from two friends, jurors have heard.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 5:51 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 6:01 pm

Michael McDougall was captured on a hidden recording device saying "he went flying backwards and he's just splattered on his ******* back" during a conversation about the killing of Tipu Sultan at his shop in South Shields last April.

The 47-year-old, who was unaware his conversations were being secretly monitored by Northumbria Police during the visit last October, said he saw a "puddle" near the body and added: "I walked out, got back in the back lane and that's when I ******* ran.

"I thought 'I've still got one left in the barrel in case any other ****** wanted it'."

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From the witness box at his trial at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, McDougall told jurors what he said during the conversation was "totally false" and just a tale he had come up with to try and expose his cell mate, who was told the same story, as a police plant inside the Durham Prison.

He told the court "I am not the gunman" and added: "I didn't shoot him or anyone else."

McDougall told jurors: "I told my visitors an account I had told my cell mate, to see if my cell mate was a plant, to see if anything came back from what I told him."

McDougall told the court he had been in trouble as a younger man, with a conviction for having a sawn-off shotgun in 1996 and involvement in a machete attack raid on a drug dealer's house in 2002.

He told the court he saw co-accused Michael Mullen, 24, shortly before and soon after the time of the shooting but was not at the scene when Mr Sultan, 32, from Sunderland, was killed.

McDougall told jurors he was at home and then having a pint at the Rose and Crown pub at around the time of the shooting, while Mullen had gone somewhere with another, unknown man.

McDougall said Mullen, who he claimed had started selling cannabis which he supplied him to earn extra cash, told him something had happened when they met up after the shooting.

He told jurors: "He said 'things have went **** up'. He didn't really say but he said the lad he picked up might have shot someone at the back of the Lake Pub."

McDougall said Mullen appeared "a bit on edge" and "a bit scatty" when he was making the revelations and had said he would soon be able to settle a debt he owed him over the drug deals.

Jurors have heard a sawn-off shotgun, which has not been linked to the murder but contains McDougall's DNA, was found by children playing in woodland last summer.

McDougall denied that the weapon was his, but said he may have been shot by it when gunmen raided his home to rob him of cannabis and cash around five ago.

He told the court he had been at home with just his dog when two masked men burst in making demands and that the weapon went off and injured his hand when he tried to tackle the gunman.

Hospital records confirm McDougall received treatment on March 25 2011 for what he claimed at the time was an injury from using a drill while he was drunk.

McDougall said he does not know who Mullen had on the back of his bike on the night Mr Sultan was shot but that rumours and speculation have been rife.

He added: "I believe there is bigger people involved in this."

Prosecutors claim if McDougall was not on the back of the bike that night, Mullen must have picked up the mystery man on his bike 'like Zorro onto a horse'.

McDougall, of Hylton Avenue, and Mullen, of Hawthorne Avenue, both South Shields, both deny murder, manslaughter and possessing a firearm.

McDougall denies an additional charge of possession of a firearm and Mullen denies perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.