Leeds murder accused ‘sought firearm’ after drugs arrest

Jordan Stapleton.

Jordan Stapleton.

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A man accused of murdering his cousin texted a friend about sourcing a firearm weeks before the father of one was shot dead at his Leeds home, a court heard.

The jury was told that phone records show Cyrus Hanley, 19, exchanged messages about guns hours after being bailed for drugs offences in February.

Hanley, Luke Toner, Colin Webster and Jake Looby are on trial at Leeds Crown Court where they deny murdering Jordan Stapleton at his home in Beckhill Chase, Meanwood, as his four-year-old son slept in the next room on April 16.

The prosecution allege the four men carried out a planned “execution” of the 21-year-old after suspecting him of being a police informant.

Detective Constable Richard Hill, of West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiries team, who was present during police interviews with Hanley, was called as a witness yesterday.

Reading statements Hanley made to police, he said: “I knew he worked with you lot [the police], he used to ring the police on a certain number and tell them what he knew and got paid.”

The court heard how Hanley first told police that he had spent the night of the murder at his aunty’s before changing his story to say he spent the evening in at a flat shared by Webster, Looby, Toner and Webster’s partner.

Stainbeck Lane CCTV images of Toner and Looby – the latter anonymously called 999 about the shooting – were then shown to Hanley who acknowledged his account “must be incorrect”.

Asked if he killed Mr Stapleton, Hanley, who had a key to his cousin’s house, told police: “I would never smoke my own family, no way.”

Hanley, 19, of Miles Hill View, Potternewton; Webster, 19, of Bayswater Row, Harehills; Toner, 20, of Beckhill Chase, Meanwood, and Looby, of Miles Hill Street, Potternewton, all plead not guilty to murder. Proceeding.

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