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Shooting trial: teenager shot in back at close range in "planned attack" at Norwich park

PUBLISHED: 17:30 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:10 02 July 2019

Police searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A teenager was shot in the back at close range as he tried to flee from four armed men in a "planned attack" to rob him of drugs, a court has heard.

Police searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Kallum Eastall, 18, and Jake Brittain, 26, both of no fixed address, have denied attempted murder on June 27 last year.

Norwich Crown Court heard how a 19-year-old man, from London, had arrived at the park off Adelaide Street at around 1.45am, where he was attacked by four men.

He later told police he had been visiting a friend, but drugs were found in his pocket when officers searched his clothes.

"It seemed as though they had been waiting for him and they emerged from bushes in the park," said prosecutor Ian James.

The police cordon around woodland on Adelaide Street in Norwich and surrounding roads after a shooting Tuesday night.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The police cordon around woodland on Adelaide Street in Norwich and surrounding roads after a shooting Tuesday night. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The men were masked, and one wore a balaclava. Two wielded knives with 15 inch blades in sheaths, while a third carried a shotgun.

"The likelihood is this was a planned attack on him in the hope of robbing him of drugs," said Mr James.

After the victim offered his attackers to search him he was threatened with the shotgun.

"[He] decided he had nothing left to lose," said Mr James. "The gun was pointed at his head and he decided to run for it.

Police searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

"As he ran he was shot from behind at close range."

Neighbours heard the gunshot and some reported seeing a white hatchback fleeing the scene.

The victim managed to stumble from the park to Adelaide Street where members of the public came to his aid.

At 10.15pm that night, patrol officers went in pursuit of a white Citroen C1 which failed to stop for them.

They were led on a pursuit to Lilburne Avenue, where Eastall jumped from the moving car and ran into a house.

Brittain was a passenger in the car, from which police also recovered two large knives in sheaths and a black bag with a homemade balaclava made from knotted tights.

They also found two gloves with shotgun residue on them.

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Eastall and Brittain were both arrested but declined to comment.

Brittain's brother's address on Barrett Road in Lakenham was searched and police found a black hoodie which bore Brittain's DNA and shotgun residue.

In Eastall's bedroom was a glove which had a "high level" of shotgun residue, and a black balaclava was found in a neighbour's garden.

The Citroen C1 Eastall had been driving turned out to belong to his carer.

It was captured on CCTV in the area of the shooting that night, before being seen near Lilburne Avenue and later at Chantry car park.

In custody, Eastall, 17 at the time, made a number of calls which were being monitored, many to his carer.

"It is apparent from those calls that the carer's relationship with Mr Eastall extended far beyond the proper relationship she was supposed to have with him as a carer," Mr James said.

"She seemed prepared to help him even in relation to matters related to crime."

In the calls "something of a code developed" in which Eastall referred to the shotgun as Johnny, police said.

On August 29, police were at an address on Bertie Road when they found a Browning double-barrel shotgun in the loft.

Fingerprints of a Liverpudlian named James Elliott were found on it.

On June 21 of this year he pleaded guilty to possessing the shotgun and being involved in the supply of cocaine.

While nothing linked Eastall or Brittain to the gun, police heard Eastall say in one call "Johnny's mates are in the gutter".

Officers promptly searched the gutters of the home on Lilburne Avenue and found six live shotgun cartridges wrapped in a sock.

Eastall and Brittain have also pleaded not guilty to having a firearm with intent to commit a robbery and having a bladed article.

On Monday morning Eastall admitted attempted robbery during the incident, which Brittain still denies.

The trial continues.

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