A MAN accused of trying to murder a police officer by shooting her with a sawn-off shotgun told a jury: “I have no aggro with the police.”
James Leslie gave evidence at his trial today where he is accused of attempting to murder PC Suzanne Hudson when she went to his flat in Leeds.
Leslie, 38, told the court heard he did not know it was the police knocking at his door. He said he feared a gang of men he had previously been in a dispute with were trying to break into the property to attack him.
Leslie, a diagnosed schizophrenic, said he was scared and had not taken his medication on the night of the shooting, which took place in the early hours of December 4 last year.
The trial has heard how PC Hudson had to undergo life-saving surgery after suffering damage to the arteries in her neck when Leslie fired the weapon through the window of the door of his flat.
PC Hudson and her colleague, Richard Whiteley, had gone to the flat to investigate a complaint of criminal damage.
Leslie said he had found the weapon and ammunition in a cupboard in his flat when he was doing the hoovering but the weapon did not belong to him.
He said he had not previously told police about finding the shotgun as he feared they would not believe his account because he has a criminal record.
Leslie said he was stood about three feet from the door holding the gun when it went off after the butt was in contact with a kitchen work surface.
He said: “I didn’t even know the gun had gone off. I just saw a hole in the window.”
Leslie’s barrister, Alex Cameron, QC, asked his client what he would have done with the weapon if he had realised police were at his door.
He replied: “I would have put it back where I found it.
“I have got nothing against the police. I have no quarrels with the police. They are doing a job at the end of the day. They have helped me a couple of times. I have got no aggro with the police.”
Leslie said he left the flat on his bike after the shooting and saw a male officer leaning over a female police officer on the ground.
He said “The male officer said ‘she’s been shot’.”
Mr Cameron asked: “What did you think when you heard that a police officer had been shot?”
He replied: “I just did not believe it.
“I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. It was a nightmare.”
Leslie told the court he then went into some woods nearby, still armed with the gun, and contemplated shooting himself.
He added: “I didn’t have the bottle to shoot myself. But I just wanted to end the situation I was in.”
Leslie was arrested by armed officers later that morning.
Leslie pleads not guilty to attempted murder and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He also denies a charge of possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life.
The trial continues.