Double murder accused denies being 'desperate for money'

A man accused of murder after two men were shot dead in a Range Rover has denied being “desperate for money” before the killings.

Brian McIntosh, left, and Will Henry, right
Brian McIntosh, left, and Will Henry, right

Will Henry, 31, and Brian McIntosh, 29, were shot dead at the Albion Works Industrial Estate in Brierley Hill on September 30 last year.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court today heard that Jonathan Houseman owed money to Mr Henry and Mr McIntosh, which he said was untrue.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Burrows QC said the 33-year-old, a director of a skip hire company in Stourbridge, had on August 5 received a bounce back loan, and also withdrew £151,000 in cash.

Yet eight days later he sent a text message to his wife Amy asking for £9,000.

“This is really important,” stated the text, “I have £50,000 coming into the bank today.

“I need to pay £9,000 out before then or I am going to be fighting. I will be in hospital later, I guarantee it.”

Houseman told the court he did not really believe this.

“Why did you say it to Amy?” asked Mr Burrows.

“I knew she had it to lend me,” he answered.

The court heard that Houseman’s customers were being paid late and that his stepfather pulled out of an agreement to lend him £65,000.

Houseman said he did not blame his stepfather as the business turnover had fallen from £30,000 per week to £2,000 per week after the Covid pandemic hit.

A text message from August 15 was read out to the jury from Mrs Houseman which said she had “not slept” and was “anxious as hell”.

Houseman replied that he had not slept either but told the court that he had not been losing sleep.

“Were you worried about money?” asked Mr Burrows.

“No, I was just replying to her the way she was replying to me. We had just over £600,000 in the bank.”

The court heard that Mr McIntosh and Mr Henry worked with Houseman and in September he “still owed them money”, something Houseman denies.

At 8.30am on September 30 Houseman sent a text to co-accused Richard Avery saying he was “going to self-isolate today”.

“What did you mean by that?” said Mr Burrows.

“My children were not very well – they were alright in themselves but had a temperature et cetera,” Houseman replied.

“You were not going to self-isolate at all,” said Mr Burrows.

"You were going to the yard."

"That is correct,” said Houseman.

“We know you were going to get into a car with McIntosh and Henry,” said Mr Burrows.

“Did you tell them you were not getting into the car because you were self-isolating?

“No, they would have laughed at me,” replied Houseman.

“Was it a coded message to Richard Avery that a shooting was going to happen?” asked Mr Burrows.

“No,” said Houseman.

Mr Burrows asked Houseman if he thought killing Mr McIntosh and Mr Henry would solve his financial problems.

“I didn’t have financial problems,” said Houseman.

“I have no regard for money - I have regard for my wife and my children.

“I don’t have any violence on my record – I am anti-violence.”

Houseman, of no fixed address, but previously of Quarry Park Road, Stourbridge, denies murder.

Co-accused Richard Avery, of no fixed address, denies murder and perverting the course of justice.

Avery’s partner Francesca Scott, 33, of Lower Valley Road, Brierley Hill, denies perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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