Court hears details of St Albans shooting

TWO armed local men hunted down a rival on a St Albans housing estate and attempted to murder him, a jury heard this week.

They chased and finally shot their victim in a car park after their first bullet missed, the prosecution alleged at Croydon Crown Court.

A series of disputes over cannabis, money, damage to a vehicle and a nightclub confrontation resulted in the early-morning murder bid which was captured on the estate’s CCTV.

Andre Ryan, 22, of Belmont Court, Belmont Hill, and Anthony Ajayi, 22, of Coningsby Bank, both St Albans, have pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Jahan Malik, 24, in Praetorian Court off Vesta Avenue on June 5 this year.

Isabel Delamere, prosecuting, told the court: “The prosecution say these two defendants set out to fight Mr Malik and went to the location armed and fully intending to carry out that plan,

“Ryan had a gun and Ajayi had a baton and a meat cleaver and it was their plan to use the gun and kill him.

“There was a history between the defendants and the victim, with minor slights and accusations going to and fro, that escalated beyond all reason and comprehension.”

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She went on: “They went to the address to settle these perceived scores. Ryan pulled the gun from his bag and fired at Mr Malik.

“The first one missed, but the second hit him in the side with almost fatal consequences.”

In the moments before the shooting, which took place at 10.30am in front of eye witnesses, Mr Malik had a baseball bat in one hand and a dog on a lead in the other.

Miss Delamere continued: “When he was shot he had neither and was seen to run across the car park, chased by Ryan, and seen raising his hand in obvious surrender, posing no threat to this defendant. That is when he was shot at a second time.”

Mr Malik was rushed to hospital by air ambulance but recovered from his injury.

Miss Delamere went on: “He was well known to these defendants. Two to three months before there had been some altercation in a St Albans nightclub, with one looking at another and talk of a fight.

“It is also said Mr Malik angered Ryan by making him wait over the supply of some cannabis.”

Ryan previously attacked a van Mr Malik was travelling in with a hammer while Ajayi held the door closed to prevent him escaping, but never paid for the damage he caused, the jury were told.

On the morning of the shooting Ajayi was “extremely angry and aggressive” while making an 8am visit to the home of a friend of Mr Malik.

That resulted in Mr Malik and the friend visiting Ajayi’s address and banging on the front door while only the defendant’s girlfriend was inside.

Miss Delamere added: “There was also a heated argument with shouting and swearing between Mr Malik and whoever was down the end of the phone, either Ryan or Ajayi.”

Both defendants also plead not guilty to wounding Mr Malik, with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, and possessing a firearm, with intent to endanger life.

They both also deny possessing a meat cleaver as an offensive weapon and Ryan alone denies possessing a baton as an offensive weapon.

Ryan has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and ammunition while prohibited and Ajayi has admitted possessing the baton as an offensive weapon.

Case continuing.