Man accused of double shotgun murder 'begged accomplice for help'

A man accused of murdering two best friends in a Range Rover “begged for help” from an accomplice who allegedly planned the killings, a jury heard.

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

Jonathan Houseman owed Will Henry and Brian McIntosh £480,000 and was “desperate” when he shot them at the Albion Works Industrial estate in Brierley Hill, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

In his summing up at the trial, prosecutor Michael Burrows told the court that 33-year-old Houseman “stood to gain from their deaths by wiping out the debt”.

The court heard that Houseman would be paying Mr Henry, 31, and Mr McIntosh, 29, £3,000 per month and begged co-accused Richard Avery for money.

“Richard Avery said in evidence that throughout September 2020 Houseman owed Brian McIntosh and Will Henry a substantial sum of money,” said Mr Burrows.

“It is why Avery describes Houseman as desperate.

“It is that desperation that drove Houseman to ask Avery for help, to get him a gun so he could kill Brian McIntosh and Will Henry.

“Avery knew someone who could get his hands on a gun and ammunition but his help came at a price."

Mr Burrows said that price was £100,000 and read messages that Avery had sent to his girlfriend Francesca Scott.

“He has got to give me and Zak £100,000 - pay it in bits,” said Avery.

“I had him on his knees and begging me."

The court heard that McIntosh had taken Houseman’s Range Rover as collateral against money Houseman owed him.

“Houseman still owed a huge amount of money,” said Mr Burrows.

“They were becoming increasingly frustrated with his not paying.”

The court heard that at 12.25pm on September 30 last year Houseman made a call to Brian McIntosh to “check they were on their way”.

“Houseman opened the gates so they could drive into the yard,” said Mr Burrows.

“Brian McIntosh drove out and within seconds he and Will Henry were shot and killed.”

He said evidence shows both men were shot from behind and the shooter was positioned on the rear seat of the Range Rover.

Mr Burrows dismissed Houseman’s claim that there was a fourth man present who was responsible for the killings.

“It is nonsense to suggest there was someone else in the car,” he said.

“And that brutal gunman shot Brian McIntosh and Will Henry in front of Houseman who he then spared.

“It did not happen.”

Mr Burrows said the first person Houseman went to see after the killings was Richard Avery, “a fact that speaks volumes”.

He said Avery “seemed to take charge” and gestured to Houseman to take his top off.

The court heard Avery fetched a plastic bag, sanitiser and a towel and called Scott to ask her to bring bin liners and pick up a phone and SIM card.

“Avery put two bin liners in a bag and wrapped the bags in cling film,” said Mr Burrows.

“He went to extraordinary lengths to make sure items were securely wrapped and could not be touched by himself or Francesca Scott."

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

Avery, 33, of no fixed address denies murder and perverting the course of justice.

Scott, 33, of Lower Valley Road, Brierley Hill, denies perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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