Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Tom Bell murder trial: Drug dealer held 'no grudge'

Tom Bell Image copyright Steel Stream Design
Image caption Tom Bell died in hospital from gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen

A Doncaster drug dealer has denied the shooting of a professional boxer through a pub window was a "revenge" murder.

Tom Bell, 21, was shot in the chest and abdomen while with friends in the Maple Tree pub in Balby, South Yorkshire after training in January.

At Sheffield Crown Court, Scott Gocoul, 30, admitted he did not like Mr Bell, but said he bore no grudge to him.

Joseph Bennia, 27, is also on trial and denies Mr Bell's murder.

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On the first day of his defence, Mr Gocoul told the jury he and "partner" Mr Bennia, both of no fixed abode, drove around Doncaster in a black BMW X3 every day selling heroin and crack cocaine.

He said they regularly visited Mr Bennia's rented lock-up at Ready Steady Store to collect drugs, cigarettes and other items.

Most days, Mr Gocoul told jurors, he only returned home to his family near Hull "at two or three in the morning, when the phone died down".

When asked about his relationship with Mr Bell, Mr Gocoul said he "didn't like him" because of an alleged attack on his girlfriend in summer 2016, while Mr Gocoul was in prison.

Image caption Tom Bell was shot through a bay window at the Maple Tree pub in Balby on 17 January

However he told defence barrister Katherine Goddard he bore no grudge and he often saw him in different cars around Doncaster, especially at "Devil's Island", the nickname for a part of Wheatley.

Mr Bell, who was said to be a "promising" boxer, died at the Northern General Hospital after being shot on 17 January.

One of the men he was with shouted a warning but two shots were fired and Mr Bell was hit.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard a masked gunman was seen outside seconds before.

Mr Gocoul said he and Mr Bennia were eating in the pub that night and nothing had happened to upset, anger or annoy him.

The trial continues.

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