A DAD was blasted to death in the bathroom of his home as his four-year-old son slept in the next room, a murder trial heard.
A jury was told Jordan Stapleton was killed instantly in a “planned and targeted” shotgun attack by four gang members who believed him to be a police informant.
Leeds Crown Court heard the men – who called themselves the S Gang – boasted about the attack by text and on Facebook before and after the killing.
Among messages later discovered by police were ‘S Gang, Bang Bang’ and “I smoked that guy” sent after the shooting on Beckhill Chase, Meanwood, Leeds.
The jury heard a recording of a 999 call which the prosecution allege one of the men made soon after the incident, late on April 16 this year.
Cyrus Hanley, 19, of Miles Hill View, Potternewton; Colin Webster, 19, of Bayswater Row, Harehills; Luke Toner, 20, of Beckhill Chase, Meanwood, and Jake Looby, of Miles Hill Street, Potternewton, all plead not guilty to murder. The jury was told the defendants believed Mr Stapleton was a “grass” who was responsible for Hanley’s recent arrest for drugs offences. The court heard Mr Stapleton and Hanley were cousins
and had been close friends until shortly before the incident. Richard Wright, QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “That family tie and past friendship and common history were not enough to save Jordan Stapleton.
“These defendants all believed he had passed information on to the police and they all believed it had led to the arrest of Cyrus Hanley for drugs offences.
“All of them were actively involved in drug dealing at the time of this shooting. So the prosecution say that they resolved that the snitch - the grass - had to be punished and acting together and acting up to the gangster persona they revelled in, they murdered Joshua Stapleton by shooting him in his own home, with chillingly cold and callous indifference.”
Mr Wright added: “With considerable irony, we anticipate you will observe these defendants snitch on other.” The prosecutor said Webster, Toner and Looby all blamed Hanley after being arrested and Hanley in turn blamed them. The jury heard a 999 recording of an anonymous call made from a phone box on Stainbeck Lane after the shooting. During the conversation the caller claims to have heard a shot from coming from the house as he was walking past.
The prosecution allege Looby was responsible for making the call, disguising his voice then hanging up after refusing to give his name. Mr Wright added: “We anticipate that they will tell you they were acting as Good Samaritans to ensure that (Mr Stapleton’s son) did not discover his father’s body. If true, we say that related act of kindness to a little boy counts for nothing given they had shot his father a little under an hour earlier.”