Trio accused of helping gunmen who killed Rico Gordon in Bristol flee
THREE men helped two gunman escape from Bristol after they murdered a man on carnival night, a court heard.
Sean Youngsam, Courtney Ellis and Tafari Adams had travelled from London for the festivities, at the end of which Rico Gordon was shot dead after being caught in the crossfire of a shoot-out on Stapleton Road.
A jury at Bristol Crown Court was told Londoners Shakah Anderson and Rickel Adams were both convicted of the killing and jailed for life following a trial last year.
Now three London men said to have tried to help them evade justice are on trial in the same court.
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Youngsam, 26, and Ellis, 28, deny assisting Anderson to leave Bristol an hour after the shooting in July 2011.
Adams, 29, who is Rickel Adams' uncle, denies assisting Adams to get out of town immediately.
A court order has been made banning the addresses of the accused from being published.
Kate Brunner, opening the case for the prosecution, said in the early hours of July 3, 2011, many people were enjoying end of carnival at parties in pubs and clubs across Bristol.
She said Rico Gordon had spent the evening with friends and was drinking in the Coach House pub in Stapleton Road, where there was a confrontation between two groups of young men which led to shots being fired nearby 20 minutes later.
By 4am Mr Gordon was dead, the jury heard, after a bullet had entered the back of his head and caused a "catastrophic" brain injury.
Shakah Anderson and Rickel Adams were convicted as two of three gunman captured on CCTV in a gunfight in the street, the court heard.
Miss Brunner stressed that the three men currently on trial were not gunman, but gave them help.
She said: "Sean Youngsam and Courtney Ellis picked up Shakah Anderson an hour after the shooting.
"They picked him up from the back streets of Easton and they drove him back to London.
"Tafari Adams drove his nephew, Rickel Adams, away from the scene of the shooting immediately after the shooting had happened. He also drove back to London."
Miss Brunner said that when the three defendants drove the gunmen away from Bristol and back to London, at the very least they knew the men were gunmen and they were armed.
She said: "They may have known that people had been shot, wounded and, in Rico Gordon's case, killed.
"At the very least they knew that the gunmen had guns.
"These three drove their passengers away from Bristol to help them, to help the gunmen to avoid being caught.
"These three accept that they drove the gunmen from Bristol, but say that they had no idea that the gunmen had been involved in any criminal activity.
"They were simply giving a lift to Shakah Anderson and giving a lift to Rickel Adams, they say, not knowingly assisting gunmen to leave the scene of their crime."
Using footage captured on council and private cameras, the jury were shown footage of the fight and how gunmen fled the scene, with Rickel Adams getting into his uncle's blue Alfa Romeo and the car driving off.
It is alleged Anderson was picked up by Youngsam and Ellis an hour later.
The case continues.