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Court is told of shotgun denial.

Byline: By Paul McMillan

Accused claims he was not at the scene

A man accused of being involved in the shooting of a pub doorman has told a court he was not involved in the alleged revenge attack.

Thomas Dalton, along with Samuel Hill, are accused of ramming John Ormston off the road and blasting him with a shotgun in Throckley, Newcastle, last April.

But yesterday, Dalton told a jury at Newcastle Crown Court: "I don't know anything about the shooting."

Asked about his whereabouts at the time of the incident, the 26-year-old, of Pine Avenue, South Shields, said he would have been somewhere in the South Tyneside town.

But Dalton also said he had bought a stolen Jeep in Blackpool two weeks before the hit and sold it on to a man he would not name.

He told the jury he had been introduced to the potential buyer through another man in a pub and was instructed to meet him at a Lemington industrial estate.

Dalton claimed he met the man face-to-face on two occasions and sold him the stolen Jeep for pounds 400 but refused to identify the buyer to police or in court.

He said: "I have three children and a wife and I don't want to put anybody in danger and I don't want to be in danger myself.

"I don't know who did the shooting, I just know who took the Jeep. If the police went to him, then whoever fired the shot could come to me."

Dalton also said the first time he found out a Jeep had been used in the shooting was in news reports days later.

He went on to tell the jury he later received a threatening phone call from another unknown man.

"He just said keep your mouth shut about this Jeep. It could get dangerous, you could get hurt. Stuff like that," added Dalton.

Mr Ormston was targeted as he pulled up outside his girlfriend's house in Throckley in his VW Bora car.

A Suzuki Grand Vitara Jeep ran him off the road and trapped his vehicle against a metal barrier outside a school.

He was shot twice and suffered gunshot injuries to his thigh, back and shoulder.

Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Caroline Goodwin alleged another defendant, Steven Blackburn, arranged for Dalton and Hill to carry out the shooting while he was in Spain.

She has claimed Mr Ormston and Blackburn had been friends until Ormston, of Hallow Drive, Throckley, had an affair with Blackburn's mother.

The prosecution say Blackburn plotted the attack when his father was later jailed for 10 years for drug-dealing and he thought Mr Ormston was an informant.

Dalton; Blackburn, 25, of no-fixed-address; Samuel Hill, 25, of Lyon Street, Hebburn; and James Johnson, 28, of Cleghorn Street, Newcastle, all deny conspiracy to cause GBH with intent.

The trial continues.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 19, 2006
Words:476
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