Former boxing professional Denzil Brown found NOT guilty of murdering Christopher Lewis in Leeds gangland shooting

Former professional boxer Denzil Brown Senior has been not found guilty of murder over the Leeds gangland shooting of Christopher Lewis.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:56 pm

A jury took just less than two hours to clear the 50-year-old of killing the 24-year-old dad who was shot in the head outside his home in Chapeltown in August last year.

The Leeds Crown Court jury returned the verdict after listening to evidence for five weeks.

Mr Lewis, 24, was murdered outside his home on Reginald Street, Chapeltown, on August 1 last year.

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Jurors found Denzil Brown not guilty of the murder of Denzil Brown after a five-week trial

Gunman Steven Grey and Jonathan Gledhill - who acted as a "stalker" - were convicted of murdering Mr Lewis following a trial in July.The jury of seven men and five women was told Mr Lewis was targeted because he was a member of a rival drug dealing gang called The Flock.Both men were given life sentences. Grey was told he must serve a minimum of 32 years in prison.

Gledhill was told he must serve a minimum of 31 years behind bars.

Three others - Denzil Browne Junior, Owen Clarke and Lewis Pearce - were found guilty of assisting an offender following the July trial.

Pearce, 27, previously of Sholebroke Street, Chapeltown, Browne Junior, 23, of Oaklands Crescent, Gipton, and Clarke, 26, of Haw Avenue, Yeadon, helped the killers get away from the Chapeltown area afterwards.

Denzil Brown with Barry McGuigan during his professional fighting days

They were each jailed for four years.

Grey, 38, of Town Street, Armley, fired the fatal shot before he and 38-year-old Gledhill, of Dib Lane, Roundhay, fled the scene.

Brown Senior, of Parkfield Court, Morley, was found not guilty of murder after a separate trial which began on November 12 and finished today.

Giving evidence at the trial, he told the jury he had never met the two men who were convicted of murdering Mr Lewis.The prosecution claimed Brown Senior drove Grey and Gledhill away from Chapeltown in his car following the shooting.

Denzil Brown will be released from custody after being cleared by the jury after a murder trial.

The jury heard Brown Senior dropped Grey and Gledhill off at the border of Chapeltown and Chapel Allerton before returning to the area where the killing happened.

Father-of-ten Brown Senior told the jury that he had been in the area around the time of the killing but had been visiting family and friends to deliver presents he had brought back from a holiday to Florida.

Prosecutors claim Brown Senior got involved in the "execution" of Mr Lewis after his son Browne Junior was seriously injured when he was attacked by Flock gang members in a violent clash in Leeds city centre three days earlier

Browne Junior was attacked with an axe and a scythe and suffered injuries including a slash wound on his back.Brown Senior was arrested in connection with Mr Lewis' murder on December 12 last year, more than four months after the shooting.

Brown told the court he was a professional boxer for 12 years and fought and lost a British cruiserweight title bout against Dennis Andries in 1995.

The jury was shown a poster advertising that boxing match, which was third on a card led by Prince Naseem Hamed v Armando Castro.

Brown also lost against Chris Okoh in a cruiserweight Commonwealth title fight in 1997.

Brown told the court he is a British Telecoms engineer who also trains six professional fighters.