Drugs supplier trial: Accused was 'visited by men who murdered victim'

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image copyrightHampshire Constabulary
image captionGurinderjit Rai was known as "G" in the criminal world, the court was told

A man accused of murdering a drugs supplier has told a court he was forced to hand over his car, phone and £46,000 in cash to a group of three men on the night of the killing.

Gurinderjit Rai, 41, was found shot dead in a parked car in a rural lay-by at Corhampton, Hampshire, in July 2019.

Aston Hannis and three other men all deny his murder.

Mr Hannis told Winchester Crown Court the three "aggressive and threatening" men had killed Mr Rai.

The court previously heard Mr Hannis was a dealer who bought drugs from Mr Rai for two years.

Giving evidence, he said he had been planning to meet Mr Rai to give him £46,000 towards money he owned him for the supply of drugs.

image captionGurinderjit Rai's body was found in a parked car near Corhampton Golf Club on 13 July

He told the court he had been visited at his home in Eastleigh on the evening of 12 July 2019 by three men, one with a "slight Scouse accent" who took him into their BMW estate and asked about "debts and monies owed" by Mr Rai.

Mr Hannis told jurors they asked for the location of the meeting with Mr Rai and demanded his car keys, "burner" phone and the cash he was due to hand over.

"They said they were taking my car and phone - I felt there was nothing I could do," he told jurors.

"They knew where my family lived - I was fearful they would get hurt."

The court heard he was later called and told he "wasn't getting it back".

"They said they would be down next week to collect the outstanding money and Rai was dead - they had killed him. I was shocked," he said.

Prosecutors previously said Mr Hannis and Charlie Stratham "carried out the execution", with Corin Barlow supplying the shotgun and Paul White driving to meet them after the Mercedes saloon car they were driving was disposed of.

Mr Hannis, of Eastleigh, Mr Barlow, from Horley, along with Mr Statham and Mr White, both from Winchester, all deny murder.

Phillip Hodan, 43, from Owslebury, denies participating in the criminal activities of an organised crime group.

The trial continues.

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