Gunman 'blasted' victim in head in busy Southport street

Eastbank Street Image copyright Google
Image caption Eastbank Street, Southport, where the shooting took place

A gunman chased his victim through a busy seaside resort in front of Christmas shoppers and "blasted him in the head", a court heard.

Jamie Bridge, 22, denies the attempted murder of Christopher Jopson, who was injured in the incident in Southport last December.

But he has admitted wounding him with intent to do grievous bodily harm, at Liverpool Crown Court.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to wounding a nearby bus driver.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Bridge, of Wyresdale Road, Aintree, chased the victim through the town centre in the middle of the day on 21 December while carrying a double-barrel sawn-off shotgun.

The barrister told the jury that Southport town centre "was thronged with vehicles and pedestrians, shoppers, going about their last-minute Christmas shopping".

Witnesses described the defendant taking aim at Mr Jopson before firing the shot, which also hit Lee Armstrong, who was standing at a bus stop waiting to start work.

'Intention to kill'

Mr Riding said: "The Crown say chasing after a man no doubt fleeing for his life, blasting him the back of the head from a distance of no less than 10m is about as good an evidence as you can get of intention to kill."

Neither of the men was seriously injured but both were hit in the back of the head by parts of the shot from the cartridge, with Mr Armstrong also suffering a wound to his shoulder.

In his witness statement, Mr Jopson said he had come out of the Betfred shop when he saw a man undoing his jacket and getting out a shotgun.

He said: "I thought the gun was fake but that I'd better run in case it wasn't."

The defendant has also admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and intent to endanger life.

The trial is expected to last three days.

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