'Like a scene from Top Boy': Murder trial shown footage of clash between rival Leeds drug gangs

Camera footage of a 'Wild West' clash between rival drug gangs in Leeds city centre was likened to a scene from Netflix crime drama Top Boy.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:00 pm

A murder trial jury was shown images of men carrying a sliver blade, an axe and a shovel as they carried out a revenge attack in the early hours of July 29 last year.

Boxing coach Denzil Brown Senior is on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of murder over the fatal shooting of Christopher Lewis, which took place three days after the incident.

Mr Lewis, 24, was shot on the doorstep of his family home on Reginald Street on August 1, 2018.

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Crime scene after the fatal shooting of Christopher Lewis on Reginald Street, Chapeltown.

The prosecution allege Brown Senior was involved in the "execution" of Mr Lewis as revenge for his son being attacked with an axe during the disturbance in Leeds city centre.

Jurors have been told gunman Steven Grey and Jonathan Gledhill - who acted as a "stalker" - have already been convicted of murdering Mr Lewis following a trial in July.

The court heard Mr Lewis was killed because he was a member of a rival drug dealing gang called the Flock.

The jury was shown footage of the clash in Leeds city centre as three masked men arrived on the scene in a stolen Volkswagen Tiguan which did not have any number plates.

Browne (Junior) was struck across the back by an axe and injured as the area was busy with people enjoying a night out.

Dafydd Enoch, QC, prosecuting, described the incident as being like the "Wild West".

He also compared it to a scene from London crime drama Top Boy, which depicts the activities of rival drug gangs.

He said: "You could be forgiven for thinking that is a scene from Top Boy.

"It isn't. It is a scene from real life in Leeds city centre in the early hours of the morning of July 29."

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

Pearce, 27, of no fixed address, Browne (Junior), 23, of Oaklands Crescent, Gipton, and Clarke, 26, of Haw Avenue, Yeadon, helped the killers get away from the Chapeltown area afterwards.

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

Denzil Brown (Senior), of Parkfield Court, Morley, is standing trial alone. He denies murder.The prosecution claims 50-year-old Brown (Senior) drove Grey and Gledhill away from Chapeltown in his Mercedes 4x4 following the shooting.

It is alleged Brown (Senior) dropped Grey and Gledhill off at the border of Chapeltown and Chapel Allerton before returning to the area where the killing happened.

Jurors have been told Brown Senior then telephoned his son Denzil Browne (Junior), who in turn called Owen Clarke who got in his car and went to pick up Grey and Gledhill.

Mr Enoch said Brown (Senior) was not connected to gang related activities but got involved after his son was seriously injured when he was attacked by Flock gang members.

The court heard Browne (Junior) sent photos of his injuries via Whats App to his father, who was on holiday in Florida.

Mr Enoch said Browne (Junior) did not report the axe attack to the police and told medical staff at hospital that he had fallen on some glass.

He said: "This is the way they operate.

"It has all the hallmarks of organised criminal activity and gang culture."

Mr Enoch said Brown (Senior) was sleeping in the living room of his home at the time he was arrested.

The court heard a "massive knife" was found down the side of the sofa. A bulletproof vest and an extendable baton were also in the property.

Mr Enoch said the defendant had the items because he had become a "target".

He said: "He was a target, not because he was somebody's dad, but because he was involved directly with what happened to Mr Lewis."

The trial continues.