Man ‘accidentally shot friend in head at point-blank range while playing with gun’, murder trial told

Mark Cardwell, Paul Beard

A man was left “devastated” after he accidentally killed his friend by shooting him at point blank range in the head while “mucking around” with a gun, a court heard.

Jordan Bassett, 25, said he did not know the Luger pistol was loaded when he blasted Addison Packeer, 27, as they “laughed and joked” in a friend’s flat.

Bassett told a jury there had been “no bad vibes” in the room and they had merely been “playing around” with the 9mm weapon as they waited for their food to be served.

He claims the gun just “went off” and that he tried in vain to save his friend as he bled from a wound to the right side of his head.

Bassett, of Coventry, admits manslaughter but denies murder at Warwick Crown Court, saying he was not aware the gun was loaded.

Jurors heard the two men went to a flat on 7 December last year in Willenhall, Coventry, where Wayne Anglin ran a business cooking and selling Caribbean food.

They sat in the living room, and as Mr Anglin prepared food for them in the kitchen, he heard a noise and rushed through to see Mr Packeer had been shot to the head.

Bassett, who had fired the fatal shot, was trying to stop the bleeding, but then left, taking the gun, magazine and spent cartridge and throwing them into a quarry pond.

Giving evidence, Bassett said he had not seen the semi-automatic pistol before Mr Packeer took it from his waistband and put it on the table.

Bassett said his gloves were on the table, and Mr Packeer put them on and “began playing around with the firearm”.

He told the court: “He was just messing around with the firearm, just playing around with it in his hand.

“I was eating my food. I was looking, but at the same time I was watching the television.

“While I was eating my food he was pointing the firearm around, and he pointed it at my knee, and I told him to move it away.

“He was just messing around, there was no bad vibes in the room whatsoever.”

When asked by his barrister Tim Raggatt QC what happened next, Bassett said: “I did put the gloves on and pick up the firearm.

“Addison was eating his food, and I was bored. I didn’t want to touch the gun without gloves on.

“I was just pointing the firearm around, messing around. I didn’t think it was loaded. The magazine was on the table.

“I pointed the gun at Wayne, and we were laughing and joking, and Addison was laughing.

“I turned round to Addison, and the gun’s gone off. When Addison was messing around with it he’d told me it wasn’t loaded.

“I was sitting right next to him. I was in a state of shock, I think.

“I threw the firearm, and I was trying my hardest to help Addison. He was bleeding from the right side of his head.

“I was shocked, scared, I didn’t know what to think. I was trying to help him. I did go to the bathroom to get a towel to try to stop the bleeding.

“I put the towel on the wound, I put a cushion on the settee and laid him in the recovery position to try to help him as much as I could. He was my friend.”

Bassett said he told Mr Anglin to call for an ambulance and the police, and that Mr Anglin told him to “get out” and to take the things with him, so he left.

Asked why he left, he replied: “I was panicking. I was scared, terrified.”

He said he went into some woods near his home and then to a quarry where he threw the gun, magazine and casing into water.

Bassett then went to his uncle’s home to get changed “because my clothes were covered in Addison’s blood”.

But he said he put the clothes in a bag “because I knew I was going to go to the police station to tell them what happened”.

He added: “I didn’t have anything to hide. I wanted to tell the truth about what happened.

“Words can’t describe how I feel.

“Devastated, a life is lost. Addison was my friend. I would never want to hurt him.”

The trial continues.

SWNS