Oldbury brothers 'masterminded gangland murder of popular Birmingham father'

Two brothers masterminded "a brazen execution" of a father of eight but it is impossible to know whether either of them fired the fatal shot, a court heard.

Anthony Sergeant was shot dead in 2018
Anthony Sergeant was shot dead in 2018

Michael and Connnor Goodwin, from Oldbury, are accused with two others of planning and carrying out a drive-by killing in 2018 of community football manager Anthony Sergeant.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how the defendants were allegedly the custodians of a money-spinning drugs phone line and also had the criminal know-how to clone number plates of two high-performance cars used in the shooting.

However they took their mobile phones with them as they embarked on the gangland hit, giving police and prosecutors a detailed map of their whereabouts on the night of the killing through cell tower evidence, the court was told.

When arrested a month after the slaying Michael Goodwin opted to have his mother by his side during questioning about the murder as an appropriate adult.

Prosecuting, Annabel Darlow QC said: "Michael Goodwin told officers he suffered with ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and dyslexia and would struggle remembering dates.

"He said he thought he was at his partner's house in Handsworth and could not remember. He said it would be easier if the dates were memorable, when told one of the dates in question was the day before his brother's birthday he still said he could not remember.

"When Conor was arrested on 20 June 2019 he gave no comment to almost every question. Again on November 19 when questioned he made no comment."

During an opening statement which took two-and-a-half days, Ms Darlow outlined the case against the brothers Connor Goodwin, 27, and brother Michael, 26, from Wallace Road in Oldbury.

They are on trial along with Leon Riley, 21, of Bridgelands Way, Perry Barr, and Keenan Anderson, 25, of Albert Road, Handsworth. All deny murder.

Another alleged killer, Dante Mullings, was shot dead the following year.

Ms Darlow said: "This was a brazen execution. Which took a high level of planning. The stealing of high-performance cars and cloning of number plates so to reduce the chances of them being caught shows this. A firearm was involved which ended being concealed a long way from the scene.

"We cannot say which of the defendants shot Mr Sergeant. We do not know who is the principal, however, all can be guilty of murder as they went together."

The court heard how Mr Sergeant, from Birmingham, was killed with one bullet and another went through his mother's home's window into the kitchen. The cars then followed another male and fired a shot at him outside a Tesco before leaving for Ladywood.

Land Rover worker Mr Sergeant was a 33-year-old known as ‘The King of Lee Bank’ and was both a rapper and player manager of a community football team.

Ms Darlow said: "He was shot as he was doing nothing more than speaking with friends outside his mother's house."

For each day of the trial the public gallery was full of relatives of both the victim and the defendants.

All deny murder and the trial continues.

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