'I had no idea passenger had a gun' - defendant in Rico Gordon trial
A SECOND man told a jury he had no idea he was in a car which picked up a killer after a fatal shooting in Bristol.
Courtney Ellis said he was "110 per cent" sure he didn't know Shakah Anderson was a gunman involved in a gunfight following the 2011 St Paul's Carnival, in which 21-year-old Rico Gordon was shot dead.
He told Bristol Crown Court: "We just picked him up."
Londoners Shakah Anderson and Rickel Adams were both convicted of the killing and jailed for life following a trial last year.
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Now there is a further trial in which Sean Youngsam, 26, and Courtney Ellis, 28, deny assisting Anderson to leave Bristol an hour after the shooting. Tafari Adams, 29, who is Rickel Adams' uncle, denies assisting Rickel Adams to get out of town immediately.
A court order has been made banning the addresses of the accused from being published.
Ellis told the jury he travelled with friends from London to Bristol in order to go to carnival after-parties.
He said it was their intention to socialise and hand out music CDs they had produced.
Ellis said they ended up in the Coach House pub on Stapleton Road, but he was unaware of a confrontation which caused the pub to shut. He described how he and his friends, in a convoy of cars, set out to look for another party but ended up driving in a loop and returning to the Coach House.
As he was talking to a friend, he said, loud bangs rang out in the street.
He said: "People were ducking and running. I ducked down. I didn't see anyone discharging a firearm, I'm positive."
Ellis recounted how he hid behind a car before getting into his friend Sean Youngsam's Ford Puma, which was the nearest point of safety, and Youngsam drove off.
He said: "I was sitting in the front passenger seat. In my mind, the night was over, it was home time."
It was then, Ellis said, when Anderson called him and asked for Youngsam's telephone number. He said he told Anderson that Youngsam was with him, and the decision was made to collect Anderson.
Ellis told the court they picked up Anderson and he asked for a lift to a girl's house in St Mark's Grove, where they stopped briefly.
It is the Crown's case that, having been involved in a gunfight, Anderson had dumped a handgun there and was collecting it.
Ellis said he saw no gun and he wasn't aware Anderson was armed on the journey back to London.
The case continues.