Jury out in shotgun execution trial

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Second man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after Portsmouth incident

JURORS in the case of a man accused of murdering his ex-wife's lover were today considering their verdict.

Raymond Grayson is accused of forcing David Haythorne on to his knees on a grass verge before shooting him in the head and chest.

But the judge presiding over the case told the jury to ignore the emotion in the court and deal with the facts presented to them.

Winchester Crown Court had heard over the past two weeks how Grayson became jealous of Mr Haythorne's relationship with his ex-wife Denise Austin.

The jury was told that the 36-year-old could not stand to see Mr Haythorne, 34, with his children and confronted him last October in Rowan Road, Denvilles, Havant, where he shot him twice with a shotgun.

Prosecutor Michael Vere-Hodge, QC, said Grayson had acquired a gun from his friend Paul Richardson after telling him he had some work for it. Grayson asked his former flatmate Nigel Robinson to drive him across the country to pick and then drop off the weapon.

In his summing up, Mr Justice Neil Butterfield said Grayson claimed Mr Haythorne had put a contract out on his life.

He said: 'Were these the comments of a man who had to defend himself, a man who lost self-control or a man who deliberately intended to murder?'

Before sending the jury out to consider their verdict, he told them: 'You must use your common sense and knowledge of the world to reach a verdict. Emotion and prejudice have no place in a criminal trial.'

Grayson, of Nutwick Road, Denvilles, Havant, is charged with murder and making threats to kill his ex-wife after the shooting.

Richardson, 39, also of Nutwick Road, is also charged with murder as the prosecution said he provided Grayson with the gun and knew what he was going to do with it.

Robinson, 43, of Colchester, Essex, also faces a murder charge as he drove Grayson to pick up the gun and the prosecution claimed he knew what it was going to be used for.

Both Richardson and Robinson also face charges of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

All three defendants deny all charges.


For day-by-day coverage see The Big Trial: Kerbside Execution in the pulldown news menu.