Essex

Sible Hedingham shooting: Defendant joined raid after being 'threatened'

Police vans outside the mansion
Image caption The victim was left with "life-changing injuries", according to Essex Police

A man took part in a burglary after being "threatened with a sawn-off shotgun" but he was outside when the homeowner was shot, a court has heard.

Timothy Mardon's home in Sible Hedingham in Essex was broken into by three men on 6 February.

Christopher Bergin, 27, of Sible Hedingham, admitted the break-in, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

But he denies aggravated burglary and claims he was threatened to take part. Two other men also deny burglary.

One of the men, Charlie Simms, 23, also denies attempted murder.

Image caption Christopher Bergin (centre) claims Charlie Simms (left) threatened him with a sawn-off shotgun

Mr Mardon was shot in the thigh through a closed bedroom door and was left with "life-changing injuries", police said.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the three men falsely thought the father-of-two was a drug dealer.

Mr Bergin, of Hawkwood Road, Sible Hedingham, told the court he was "forced" to take part in the raid by his co-defendant, Mr Simms, who "threatened him with a sawn-off shotgun".

He denied being present when Mr Mardon was shot, telling the court: "I weren't there when the bloke was shot, I weren't there."

But prosecutor Richard Christie QC said Mr Bergin was a willing participant in the raid.

Mr Bergin, Mr Simms of North Road, Halstead, Essex, and Kalebh Shreeve, 24, of Gibson Road, Halstead all deny offences including aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm.

Mr Simms also denies attempted murder.

The case continues.

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